It’s called the dog days of summer for a reason. The temperature in July and August can be scorching hot in certain parts of the United States.
Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler is scorching hot too.
Over the last 23 games, Kinsler is slashing .402/.431/.629 with 14 extra-base hits, 13 RBI and 22 runs. Going even further back to July 3, Kinsler is hitting .380 with a 1.005 OPS, 19 extra-base hits, 20 RBI and 26 runs in the last 35 games.
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The hot streak basically coincides with manager Brad Ausmus moving Kinsler to the lead off spot. The second baseman has continued to hit well while batting third in the order since the Yoenis Cespedes trade.
It just goes to show fans that maybe if Ausmus had changed up his lineup sooner when the offense was struggling in May, the Tigers might not be in this position right now.
Kinsler was hitting .318 going into the game against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 19. In the next 16 games, however, the second baseman hit went 8-for-61 (.131). During that stretch, Detroit went on a eight-game losing streak and was 4-12 overall while Kinsler was struggling.
Obviously, the eight-game skid was not just the fault of Kinsler and Ausmus, but even now, Tigers fans can point to that stretch of games as the turning point in the season. Unfortunately, it was a turning point for the worse. The Tigers are 55-59 and already waved the white flag this season.
So there might not be much of a reason to keep watching the Tigers this season, but Kinsler’s hot bat is one. Just don’t think about the fact Detroit could have really used those hits in late May rather than early August.