Tuesday, October 1, 2013

2013 Detroit Tigers regular season in review

There is one goal left. It will take 11 more victories, and hopefully not many more games. For right now the Detroit Tigers have a series coming up with the Oakland A's. That will be a great series without a doubt, but for now we look back at the regular season that was. We look at the splits, the holes, and how the Tigers wound up winning 93 games and their third straight AL Central title.

The Tigers wound up with a 93-69 record. I think my prediction at the beginning of the season was 91 wins and the division. While they did beat up on the Cleveland Indians going 15-4 against the Tribe, the Tigers made the division race a lot closer than it need to be by going just 32-25 against the three other divisional foes. They were also just 12-8 in inter league play a split this team use to dominate, and those three loses to the Miami Marlins certainly play into that. The most significant split here seems to be the 20-26 record in one run games. that means 46 times the Tigers offense was within one run of their opponents. the stats will show that is not a pitching problem, but an offense problem.

As a team the Tigers hit .283 and that was the best team batting average in the American League. They had a On Base Percentage of .346 and that was second best in the junior league. They scored 796 runs (2nd) on 1,621 hits (1st). They hit 292 doubles (5th) and 176 home runs (6th) and we can write off that lower number given they play half their games in Comerica Park. Even though we saw some monster shots by Miguel Cabrera this year. The best stat here is the Tigers had the third fewest strikeouts. Of course they came in dead last in stolen bases with just 35. Jim Leyland does not run often, and this team has next to no speed. It seems like a piece of the game that could help this offense not go so ice cold from time to time.

The starting pitching is very good, but the thing to remember here is no matter how good the starting pitching is, they do not score any runs. Runs are the currency of baseball and we have seen plenty of Tigers pitchers get no run support and eat tough loses this year. Better than good this starting staff is record setting. They struck out 1,428 opponents and that is the most by a staff ever. They racked up 93 wins which was third best in the AL. Had a 3.61 staff ERA (3rd), pitched 1,462.2 innings (4th), and gave up the fewest home runs at just 128. They also allowed the second least amount runs at 624, and the fourth fewest walks. Sure the bullpen has issues and the Tigers only had 39 saves (11th) but the starting rotation is what carries this team, and looking at the numbers here the Tigers should have had far more than 93 wins.

Even with a division title in hand, it feels like the 2013 Tigers underachieved in the regular season. The post season chapter of this team has yet to be written but anything less that a World Series title will certainly be a humongous disappointment.

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