Sunday, October 6, 2013

The ALDS moves to Detroit...a few thoughts

The Detroit Tigers accomplished the main goal, they went to Oakland and won one of the first two games of the 2013 ALDS. However, they wasted a gem of a pitching performance by Justin Verlander last night to put a choke hole on the Oakland A's in this series. The offense, the team lost the last week of the regular season, has yet to be found. The simple fact here is if this team does not start hitting they are not going to advance.

Among the problems, and probably first on the list is the fact that the Tigers' 3-4-5 hitters are hitting just 5-24 so far in the ALDS. Prince Fielder is 1-9 continuing a miserable post season performance we saw a glimpse of last fall in the World Series. And a not quite right Miguel Cabrera is just 2-8, and Victor Martinez is also 2-8. Simply put that is not going to get it done. These three men have the responsibility to carry the offensive load and since the last week of the regular season they have failed to do so.

If the Tigers exit the playoffs this early we have no choice but to look at the massive investment in Prince Fielder as a complete and utter failure. An overreaction by the owner of this team to the 2012 loss of Victor Martinez. It would also likely be the end of Jim Leyland's run in Detroit. He has a record of 1-8 in the World Series with this team and while he has helped them come this far it seems reasonable to argue that he is not the manager that will get them to the ultimate goal.

Granted we are not quite at the doom and gloom phase of the 2013 post season. The next two games will be played at Comerica Park and the Tigers are a much better team there, and the offense seems to like playing being there as well. The Tigers still have Anibal Sanchez (Monday) and Doug Fister (Tuesday) and have the option of Verlander or Max Scherzer for game five if necessary. However, the bats need to wake up sooner rather than later.

The Tigers can not ask for better pitching performances. Their top two starters put this team in a position to have a 2-0 lead in this series. The offense has been very disappointing, and largely absent last night in Oakland. This team let a rookie, making his 11th MLB start, shut down a lineup that features five .300 hitters and about 60 million dollars of payroll...

If the Tigers win the next two games, or wind up winning the series maybe we will not focus on this as much. However, for right now it is the story and the Tigers offense needs to work to change that.

Related Links: