Detroit Tigers: C-Mo Suggests Playing Good Baseball
In case you missed it, former Detroit Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe had a few things to say to the team, the manager, and the fans.
As the current pre- and post-game analyst with Fox Sports Detroit, he gets to share his thoughts about all things Tigers and Thursday night, after the 7-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, he sure did. He commented on the way the Tigers have been playing baseball and how the manager is not at fault.
His commentary was full of pathos as he spent one minute defending the manager who has been blasted on social media for the sub .500 record.
Is he right?
"Craig Monroe defends #Tigers manager Brad Ausmus https://t.co/yfYA9tqOLK— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) May 13, 2016"
Monroe defined the problem perfectly. When the pitching is good, no one hits. When the hitting is good, the pitching stinks. There is no reason why a team with the talent the Tigers have should drop a five-run lead simply because the bullpen comes in.
What strengthened his argument was acknowledging the questionable choices that Brad Ausmus has made. While Monroe did not cite specific moments, the fact that he mentioned the mistakes was good enough. Fans have plenty of memories of those mistakes and Monroe knows it.
His commentary on the problems with the players is dead on. In a handful of recent games, the Tigers batters loaded the bases, but with two outs, no runs could score. With runners on base, batters frequently hit into double plays to end innings. These are not the fault of the manager. These problems are the fault of the players.
There have been notable managing errors in several games. Like the mistakes against the Nationals that led to not having anyone to pinch hit for McCann in Monday night’s game. The other mistake was not figuring out a way to get Nick Castellanos into the game that earned Max Scherzer 20 strikeouts. Of course, no one knows if playing Castellanos would have made much difference in the record-tying strikeout numbers; but, it would have been nice to see if it might have.
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When Monroe commented on how the Tigers cannot support good pitching with good hitting, that truth is happening now. As the Tigers play their second game against the Orioles, Justin Verlander has only allowed two singles, one walk, and four strikeouts through four innings. The defense is supporting him nicely, but the offense has been unable to capitalize on their own four hits and one walk.
In their typical 2016 style, the Tigers have already earned five strikeouts – but not against a top-tier pitcher like Scherzer. No, this time against Chris Tillman – who has only earned one invitation to the All-Star game – back in 2013. This lack of offense has to be disheartening for pitchers like Verlander (and Pelfrey for that matter) when they perform well on the mound.
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I don’t know if the Tigers have listened to the motivational monologue from Monroe, but they should. They should listen to it Every. Single. Day. until they can turn around the funk they are in.