Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ho Hum Victory for Tigers

Tonight, there was no shutout, no late inning heroics, no Todd Jones roller coaster ride. It was just a very routine 6-3 victory over the hapless Royals. Not getting excited about a victory is a new feeling for Tiger fans but this one was almost dull. Imagine that. They have now won 5 in a row, 12 out of 13 and 25 out of 32. The AL Central Standings are listed below.

AL Central

W

L

PCT

GB

Detroit

32

14

.696

---

Chicago

31

15

.674

1

Cleveland

23

23

.500

9

Minnesota

20

26

.435

12

Kansas City

10

34

.227

21


Almost as amazing as the fact that the Tigers have the best record in baseball is the idea that they are 9 games ahead of the Indians and 11 games ahead of the Twins, two teams which many people felt the Tigers would be chasing this year. There is plenty of time left for those two teams to close the gap but right now it's an impressive separation.

As for tonight's game, Jeremy Bonderman scattered 10 hits over 7 innings with the only runs scoring on a three run homer by Matt Stairs. Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones closed it out fairly easily. The hitting heroes were Omar Infante (two home runs) Brandon Inge (his 11th home run of the season) and Ivan Rodriguez (3 hits). It was not a boring night for those guys, especially not Infante.

Analysis

Omar Infante is looking a lot more like the 2004 version than the 2005 version this year and that's a good thing. Including his two home runs today, he is now batting .333/.367/.544 in 57 at bats over 14 games. He also has 6 multiple hit games. Those are pretty solid numbers for utility man who can play just about anywhere on the field. In 2004, he batted .264/.317/.449 after taking over second base when Fernando Vina got hurt. He went into 2005 as the starting second baseman but slumped badly finishing at .222/.254/.367 and lost his job to mid-season acquisition Placido Polanco. Barring an injury to one of the three infielders, he is not going to win back a regular position anytime soon but he's doing great in a reserve role for now. Don't forget that this guy is just 24 and still very much a prospect despite being in Detroit since 2002.

4 comments:

  1. As long as the Tigers keep winning, Polonco isn't going anywhere, but if the Tigers start to struggle I could see Infante cutting into his playing time if he keeps hitting.

    It's a pretty cool feeling to win a game and not get that excited about it, not just because it was a "ho hum" win, but also because I just expect them to beat the Royals at this point. It's been a while since we've been able to expect the Tigers to beat anyone consistently.

    ReplyDelete
  2. AnonymousMay 25, 2006

    You really are a good writer! You should be writing for the newspapers or sports mags.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nick, I agree Polanco is not going anywhere for a long time. Infante is proving to be valuable off the bench this year. He might turn into a supersub type of player.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous, thanks for the compliment. It might be a little different if I had deadlines and a boss telling me I had to write about stuff I didn't want to write about. Of course, I probably wouldn't turn down the opportunity if it came along! I'm happy just blogging though. My day job is not bad either. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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