With a payroll ranked 23rd out of 30 in the MLB, the Detroit Tigers have found a little bit of magic as we inch closer to August in what’s been a long grueling baseball season.
The Tigers’ current seven-game win streak is the longest for the team since an eight-game run dating back to August of 2016. To put it in perspective, that was 59 months ago. The Detroit Tigers have put together a winning recipe with three essential ingredients: pitching, power, and the ability to beat the teams they should.
Pitching: Young arms and the steady bullpen
Over the past seven ball games the Tigers pitching staff has been a big reason for the surge. It also doesn’t hurt they have played struggling teams (Twins, Rangers). The Staff has pitched tremendously, holding their opponents to two or less earned runs in five of the seven wins during the streak, including three shutouts.
A big surprise this season has been the emergence of starter Willy Peralta who went 7.0 scoreless innings giving up just 4 hits. With over 6 starts this season, Peralta has a stellar 1.64 ERA while only surrendering 20 hits over 33.0 innings.
The Tigers’ Bullpens combined for the other two shutouts which included a shortened Casey Mize start. This is something we expect to see for the remainder of the season as the team manages his innings closely.
The exciting part for Tigers fans isn’t limited to the fact that the team is on a 7-game streak. Maybe the enthusiasm should actually begin with the talented young arms of Skubal, and most recently Matt Manning taking steps.
Power: Grossman, and Schoop
The famous Atlanta Braves commercial with Glavine and Maddux said it all…” chicks dig the long ball.” But the truth is doubles and triples play for power as well, especially with the dimensions of Comerica Park.
When the Tigers announced the offseason signing of Robbie Grossman many fans and insiders didn’t give it much attention. However, he’s proven to be possibly one of the most steady players on the club. Grossman has completely turned the patience of Tiger’s hitters alone leading by example. And it’s the recent power that has caught many off guard. Grossman has been punishing the ball the past 7 games hitting .292, an OBP of .393, and 3 home runs.
Jonathan Schoop has been perhaps the hottest hitter in all of baseball for quite some time. Over his past 7 games, he has a .407 average, an OBP of .414, and has collected 7 RBI’s. He is perhaps the Tigers’ most prized trade chip or a veteran earning an extension with the ballclub.
The Turnaround is Real:
The Detroit Tigers may not make a wildcard run this season. But regardless of what happens from here on out, this season has been a success. Young players are taking steps, other players have stepped into expanded roles (Erik Haase), and when teams are down the Detroit Tigers take advantage. Finally, a rebuild we can believe in.