The Detroit Tigers were swept in a short two-game weekend series in Minnesota with a 6-4 loss to the Twins on Sunday.
It’s time to snap back to reality Detroit Tigers fans. Despite losing three of their last four games, the Tigers are still above .500 and tied for second in the AL Central, but the early hype that many Detroit fans were experiencing should be fading away.
If you’re like me, you were ecstatic about going 7-3 through the first ten games and being at the top of the AL Central even for just a brief moment. After sweeping Kansas City last weekend, the efforts this past week in Cleveland and Minnesota showed that even with how much there is to like about this Tigers team, there are also still several areas that require improvement.
After an incredible first couple of starts of 2019, Jordan Zimmermann experienced his first couple of subpar outings on the year. In his two most recent starts against Cleveland and Minnesota, Zimmermann allowed a combined ten runs on 12 hits including four surrendered long balls. It would be wrong to get too down on Zimmermann for two lackluster starts in still a fairly small sample size for 2019, but it is slightly disappointing given his ace-like form of the first couple of weeks this season.
The starting pitching that was a major highlight of the first ten games is starting to even out into more of what Tigers fans were expecting heading into the season. Matt Boyd still looks strong and even was rewarded with his first W of the season in Detroit’s only win against Cleveland. Besides that, Zimmermann, Tyson Ross, and Spencer Turnbull have begun to mix in some shaky moments with their shining ones of the real early season. Hopefully, these starters can return to a path of consistency, but in the spirit of coming back down to reality, it’s hard to stay too optimistic that things will turn out exactly how Tigers fans would like.
One more area that could welcome some much-needed improvement is power hitting. Yes, Christin Stewart had the awesome grand slam against Kansas City and the Opening Day long ball in Toronto, but Tigers fans need to be craving more power hitting form this team. According to ESPN, Detroit is currently dead last in the MLB in team HRs, and one of only two teams, alongside Colorado, with less than ten as a squad.
Miguel Cabrera is doing well so far getting the ball in play bringing in RBIs and creating opportunities, but where is the power Tigers fans thought they would see from Miggy after a strong Spring Training? Nicholas Castellanos has failed to contribute a home run this season as well despite being expected to be the true anchor of Detroit’s lineup when it comes to power.
As fun as the first ten games of the season was, this Tigers team definitely is not without its shortcomings. Plenty of Detroit fans, myself included admittedly, were ready for a season where these Tigers would really exceed expectations and show promise. That still could happen, and it would be awesome, but if this last week has taught Detroit fans anything it’s that a good reality check every once in a while is necessary.
The Tigers have a day off on Monday before opening another quick two-game series on Tuesday evening, this time at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. First pitch is set for 6:40 pm Tuesday from Comerica Park.
What have you gathered from your reality check about the Tigers recent form? Feel free to let us know in the comments section down below.