Saturday, August 19, 2006

Punchless Tigers Lose Again

The Tigers were shut down by the Raangers again tonight by a score of 3-1. Nate Robertson pitched an excellent game but received little support from his teammates. He allowed just 1 earned run on 2 hits and 2 walks in 8 innings but was the victim of an error which led to 2 unearned runs in the 6th. He also received little help from his offense.

With 2 men on and 1 out in the 6th, Michael Young hit what looked to be an inning ending double play ball but Omar Infante allowed the routine grounder to go through his legs. One run scored on the play and another scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Lee. The two unearned runs gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead at the time. The Tigers are rumored to be looking for a second baseman to replace the injured Placido Polanco (who is expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a separated shoulder). One has to wonder whether that play may hasten their search a little bit.

Meanwhile, the Tiger bats were silenced by the Rangers once again scoring just 1 run on 5 hits for the second straight night. The only run scored on a solo home run by Craig Monroe in the 7th. Three of the hits belonged to Carlos Guillen.

The Tigers have now lost 8 of their last 11 games and the offense has been the primary culprit. They have scored 3 or fewer runs in 7 of the 8 losses and batted .238 with just 23 extra base hits during the 11 game period. The biggest problem has been lack of plate discipline illustrated by a 19/76 BB/K ratio. This has been a problem all season as they are last in the league in walks (296) and first in strikeouts (866). Despite this problem, they are 7th in the league in runs scored. However, you have to be a little concerned about good pitchers exploiting this obvious weakness in big games down the stretch and in the playoffs. Hopefully, their own pitching will continue to excel.

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