The simple truth is the Tigers destroyed a division rival last week, are in first place by seven full games and as long as the offense does not fall completely asleep the Tigers will be just fine. And let us be clear this is an offense problem not a bullpen problem. In fact since the All Star Game the bullpen has performed quite well.
When we look at the box score from yesterdays game we see that the Tigers had 13 hits but scored only 4 runs. The good news is the Tigers offense has been scoring runs late in games in fact three of the four runs yesterday came past the 7th inning, but they are not scoring in the middle innings putting games out of reach. When they do score runs in the middle innings there W-L record is quite good, when they do not the late innings W-L numbers are a bit more uneven.
The news of the week is Alex Avila has been placed on the 7 day concussion DL, and the team is quite concerned about this development. Alex handles the pitching staff very well and so far in the second half of the season has had a hotter bat. Bryan Holaday was added to the active roster to take his spot for the week, this likely means we will see Brayan Pena a lot this coming week.
As always a quick look at the splits. The team is 69-47. At home they are 37-19 and on the road they are 32-28 when they play they way they are capable of plying they look unbeatable however the offense still has the annoying habit of going to sleep at key moments. Over the last ten they are 8-2 and if they keep that up the division race will be over before we get to September.
- Speaking of Pena who is very solid behind the plate but over 146 at bats this season is hitting .299. He might not have a lot of power with just four home runs but 46 hits and 18 RBI are strong numbers for a bottom of the order guy.
- Drew Smyly- He has pitched the most innings of any Tigers reliever so far this year and still has a Whip under 1.00, and a very good ERA of 1.98. Drew is the real deal, and let's hope he is not a one year wonder.
- Max Scherzer- he is an unreal 17-1 with a 2.84 ERA and leads the team with 175 strike outs. Legit Cy Young numbers.
- Phil Coke- it looks like Jim Leyland has figured this one out and will pick the spots were Coke pitches very carefully. It looks like he is once again the left handed specialist only and he will likely only see left handed batters for now. His 5.19 ERA is the reason why
- Hernan Perez- He is getting lots of playing time with Omar Infante still out. He has just over 30 at bats but is hitting just .214 The Tigers offense needs Infante's bat back.