Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tigers Finish Sweep of Twins

I was out running a 5k followed by a 10k today so I missed most of the game. I did manage to see the last two innings of the combined two hit shutout over the Minnesota Twins by Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones. The Tigers swept the Twins 9-0,18-1 and 6-0 for a combined 33-1 for the three game series. I can’t remember the last time the Tigers dominated a series quite like that. In yesterday’s post, I detailed the 27 run 38 hit attack over the first two games. Today, most of the hitting came from the bottom of the order as Craig Monroe, Marcus Thames and Vance Wilson got 7 of the team’s 9 hits and 5 of the team’s 6 RBI. This included a three run double by Wilson and a two run homer by Thames.

The story of the day though was Kenny Rogers who allowed just 2 hits and one walk in 8 shutout innings. In fact, the story of the past two weeks has been starting pitching. In the last twelve games, the Tiger starters have combined to pitch 82 1/3 innings for a 2.08 ERA while allowing only 52 hits, 25 walks and 5 home runs. The twelve games listed in chart below have included 11 quality starts. The only game which did not qualify came close to a quality start - Mike Maroth allowed 4 runs in 6 innings last Wednesday against the Angels. Not surprisingly, the Tigers have gone 9-3 over this stretch.

Table: Tiger Starters between April 18-30

Date

Pitcher

Opponent

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

K

4/18

Verlander

At OAK

7

5

4

3

2

3

7

4/19

Rogers

At OAK

7 1/3

3

3

3

1

2

1

4/20

Bonderman

At OAK

7

5

3

3

0

2

1

4/21

Maroth

At SEA

6

4

0

0

0

3

3

4/22

Robertson

At SEA

7

2

0

0

0

2

4

4/23

Verlander

At SEA

7

4

1

1

0

2

3

4/24

Rogers

At LAA

7

4

2

2

1

3

3

4/25

Bonderman

At LAA

6

3

2

2

0

1

6

4/26

Maroth

At LAA

6

9

4

4

1

3

2

4/28

Robertson

Vs. MIN

7

5

0

0

0

1

7

4/29

Verlander

Vs. MIN

7

6

1

1

0

2

4

4/30

Rogers

Vs. MIN

8

2

0

0

0

1

4

82 1/3

52

20

19

5

25

45

Saturday, April 29, 2006

It Keeps Getting Better

In recent posts, I talked about how the Tigers had allowed fewer runs than any team in the league while their bats struggled. The last two games the bats have gotten really healthy and their pitching just keeps getting better. Last night, they blanked the Minnesota Twins 9-0 while accumulating 15 hits. Today, they destroyed the Twins 18-1 with a 23 hit attack, the 18 runs being their most ever in Comerica. That's 27 runs on 38 hits in two days. I guess their hitting slump is over.

There has been so much hitting the last two days, it's hard to know where to start but I'll go with Carlos Guillen. Guillen drove in 4 runs yesterday and 5 runs today for a total of 9 RBI in two games. His offensive explosion was highlighted by a three run double on Friday night and two home runs today - a two run smash and a three run shot. Ivan Rodriguez led the hit parade with 7 singles while Craig Monroe has had had 5 hits including three doubles. Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Chris Shelton and Marus Thames all connected for home runs. I could go on and on.

As good as their hitting has been, I have been equally pleased with the pitching the last two games. The much maligned (on several internet sites) Nate Robertson pitched 7 shutout innings on Friday night. That was his second consecutive start where he pitched 7 scoreless innings and he has allowed only 7 hits in those 14 innings. Today, prized rookie Justin Verlander allowed just 1 run on 6 hits in 7 innings. Verlander is looking like a kid who is not intimidated by the major leagues; like someone who should contribute all year long. The young relief staff was not really needed the last two games but they continued to excel anyway. Jordan Tata, Fernando Rodney, Bobby Seay and Jason Grilli pitched one scoreless inning apiece.

The Tigers are now 15-9 and are showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. The usual sense of impending doom is not there right now. It just keeps getting better.

Detroit Tiger Prospect Report - 4/29/06

As the season goes along, I'll be doing periodic updates on many of the Tiger prospects throughout the minor leagues. I'm not going to list them in any particular order. I'm just going to list some of the most interesting prospects at each level. I won't mention every prospect on every report, just ones that seem noteworthy at the time I'm writing it. I may occasionally even mention some marginal prospects who happen to be having good seasons. Here is this weeks report team by team:

Toledo Mudhens (AAA)
Record: 11-12

Wil Ledezma, had a 12 strikeout game this week and now has a 2.43 ERA and a 38/6 K/BB ratio in 29 2/3 innings......Matt Mantei pitched his first game last night and struck out 3 in 1 1/3 perfect innings. If he pitches well, in his next few appearances, he could be called up quickly…..Zach Miner, obtained in the Kyle Farnsworth deal with the Braves has a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings pitched…..There is not much offense at Toledo so far. Jack Hannahan is batting .296/.386/.423....Ryan Ludwick is batting .272/.379/.494. If Dmitri Young can’t get healthy and the designated hitters continue to struggle, Ludwick could reach Detroit fairly soon.


Erie Seawolves (AA)
Record: 8-13

Brent Clevlen is still struggling a bit hitting .256/.347/.360. The one positive is his 11 walks in 21 games.....Kody Kirkland is starting to show some power but is not getting on base much: .233/.283/.500…..Tony Giarratano is having an awful start batting.265 with no power and 21 strikeouts…..Hard throwing Humberto Sanchez is off to a nice start - 1.96 ERA and 28/7 K/BB ratio in 23 innings.....Brian Rogers has an 0.50 ERA, no walks and 22 K in 18 innings

Lakeland Tigers (A+)
Record: 10-12

Jeff Larish is not hitting for average but is walking a lot and showing some power: .250/.383/.447.....Jeff Frazier is batting .284/.330/.455. He needs to improve on his 6/18 BB/K ratio.....Clete Thomas is slumping is is now batting .233/.313/.360 with 27 strikeouts.....Wilken Ramirez is having a really slow start -.253 with little power and 26 strikeouts....Jair Jurrjens has a 2.25 ERA and a 21/1 k/BB ratio in 24 IP....Kevin Whelan has been a bit more human lately but has 11 K and a 3.52 ERA in 7 2/3 IP.

Western Michigan Whitecaps (A)
Record: 14-7

The most impressive Tiger minor leaguer so far has been Cameron Maybin who is batting .303/.386/.513 and racking up outfield assists. He does need to cut down on his strikeouts though. He has struckout 24 times so far.....Michael Hollimon is hitting .286/.409/.429.....Catcher Dusty Ryan, who impressed me at Oneonta a couple years ago seems to be back on track batting .333/.444/.444 in 13 games…..Sendy Vazquez has an 0.41 ERA in 22 innings .....Reliever Orlando Perdomo has a 1.69 ERA and 13/3 K/BB ratio in 10 2/3 innings.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hitting Woes

Going into the season, most Tiger fans felt that hitting would be a strength if the team could stay healthy. At the same time, the pitching staff was filled with question marks. Now, 22 games into the season, the Tigers lead the league in fewest runs allowed per game (3.7) but are 10th in runs per game (4.6).


So what’s the problem with the offense? Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez are healthy and hitting well and the only significant injury has been Dmitri Young’s hamstring. Why are they not scoring runs? The chart below shows how they rank in several key offensive categories:


Table: How the Tigers’ Offense Ranks Among AL teams


Category

Rate

Rank

Batting Average (BA)

.269

7

Walks/Plate Appearance (BB/PA)

.066

11

Isolated Power (ISO)

.192

3

On Base Percentage (OBP)

.324

8

Slugging Percentage (SLG)

.460

5

OBP plus SLG (OPS)

.785

6

Runs Created Per 27 outs (RC27)

4.96

8



The table shows that, while the Tigers are third in the league in isolated power, they are not getting on base that much – 7th in BA, 11th in BB/PA and 8th in OBP. Who’s not getting on base? Craig Monroe is batting .215 with an OBP of .259. The designated hitter position (Dmitri Young, Marcus Thames, Alexis Gomez, etc) is batting .224/.275. Fan favorite Placido Polanco is batting .289 but has only one walk and a .302 OBP. Those are not the only ones who need to do better but they are the biggest culprits so far.



The other thing that the table shows is that the Tigers do not seem to be scoring as much as they should given their offensive performance. They have 4.96 RC27 but have actually scored only 4.55 runs per game. Why are they not getting more out of their offensive output? One reason is that they are not hitting well with runners in scoring position (RISP). With RISP, the Tigers are batting .231/.304/.356. This is much worse than their performance without RISP: .279/.330/.489. I won’t get into individuals here because the sample sizes are too small. I’ll just say that that, as a team, they are not hitting well enough with runners in scoring position.


Since the pitching will almost surely slow down soon, the Tigers are going to have to score more runs. This means they’ll need to get on base more and they’ll need to come through with runners in scoring position.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tigers Go 6-3 Out West

The Tigers had a sloppy finish to a long western trip losing 4-0 today to the Los Angeles Angels. They managed just two hits against John Lackey and Scot Shields. After one of the hits, Magglio Ordonez was thrown out by Vladimir Guerrero rounding first base. Defensively, both Carlos Guillen and brandon Inge made errors. Maroth was not terrible but he have up 4 runs and nine hits in 6 innings for his worst start of the year so far. It's likely they were tired after playing 14 games in 14 days

Although it was a bad day for the Tigers today, they can hold their heads high after going 6-3 on a western swing. They took 2 of 3 from the Oakland Athletics, swept the Seattle Mariners in 3 games, and took 1 of 3 from the Angels. Here is a brief re-cap of the trip:

  • They outscored their opponents 33-25 and did not give up more than 4 runs in any game.
  • Their whole starting staff was superb: A 2.69 ERA in 60 1/3 inning pitched allowing just 39 hits and 21 walks.
  • The bullpen continued to shine and is now a perfect 7 for 7 in save opportunities for the season.
  • Offensively they struggled batting just .240/.319/.341 with 20 extra base hits in the 9 games.
  • Magglio Ordonez heated up a little bit hitting .342 with 4 doubles and a home run. Getting him back anywhere close to his old productivity would be a huge boost.
  • Curtis Granderson batted .290 with 7 walks for a .421 OBP. Curtis just may be the best all around player on the team right now.
  • On the negative side, Chris Shelton fell back to earth batting just .138 with no extra base hits.
  • The designated hitter trio of Alexis Gomez, Marcus Thames and Omar Infante batted .121 which actually made me long for Dmitri Young's return which should be soon - possibly this weekend.
  • The 13-9 Tigers are now two games off the pace of 1993 team after the same number of games. The 1993 team was 15-7 and in first place after 22 games.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mark Fidrych Diary - April, 1976

The Mark Fidrych Diary will be a regular feature on Tiger Tales during the course of the spring and summer. This year is the 30th anniversay of Fidrych's magical rookie season in 1976 and, to honor the memory of that campaign, I will be writing a regular diary of his season from the perspective of a fan who doesn't know what lies ahead. I will update the diary once or twice a week during the season. I was 13 years old that summer so I have some vivid memories but I will also be using retrosheet.org and various newspaper archives to make sure I get the facts straight.


April 25, 1976

The Tigers lost another game in the 9th inning today. They were tied 3-3 going into the ninth inning but John Hiller gave up two runs in the top of the inning. Ben Oglivie got a pinch home run to lead off the bottom of the inning but the next three batters were retired and the Tigers lost 5-4. So the Tigers are now 5-5 with all 5 losses coming after they were ahead or tied in the ninth inning.

There have been several line-up changes since the beginning of the season. Milt May broke his leg Tuesday on a play at the plate and is out for the season. That is disappointing because May is a pretty good young catcher. Now, 35 year old Bill Freehan is back behind the plate.

They are re-building in other areas though. Ron Leflore has started 5 straight games and has gone 7-22 getting at least one hit in each game. Big Jason Thompson, a very good power hitting first base prospect, has been re-called from Evansville and has started the last two games going 2-8. Another rookie Jerry Manuel has been getting some starts at second base in place of Gary Sutherland. Manuel is not a great prospect but he’s young and he can’t be worse than Sutherland. Here is the new line-up:

Leflore CF
Johnson LF
Horton DH
Staub RF
Thompson 1B
Freehan C
Rodriguez 3B
Veryzer SS
Manuel 2B


Fidrych has not pitched since Tuesday but Ernie Harwell told a good Fidrych story this week. When Fidrych was told by GM Jim Campbell that he had made the team, Campbell also ordered him to buy a suit. Fidrych, who wore cutoff jeans and a tee shirt all spring, didn’t know where to buy a suit so Campbell gave him the directions to a store. Fidrych went to the store and found that a suit would cost him over $100 so he left the store empty handed. Campbell saw him later and wanted to know how it went. Fidrych told him he wasn’t going to blow all his money on a suit and said something about picking up a $20 leisure suit at K Mart. So Campbell offered to buy him a suit as a bonus.


So now Fidrych is a major leaguer with a suit but he never pitches.


April 20, 1976


The Tigers lost a tough one day. I was catching updates on local radio WEEI through the late afternoon. They scored two in the first on a two run home run by Horton and two more in the second on a single by Veryzer. Feeling pretty good about the four run lead, I went outside to shoot baskets for a while. When I came back inside for another update, I found that the Tigers were now ahead 5-1 after an RBI single by Horton in the top of the seventh.

After that, things began to fall apart. The next report was that the Athletics had scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 5-3. It was still 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth. At that point, I was able to get a faint early evening signal from WJR. Here is how the inning went:

Bert Campaneris singled and stole second
Phil Garner walked
Jim Crawford replaced Joe Coleman
A double steal put runners on second and third
Bill North lined out to left
Claudell Washington walked to load the bases
Joe Rudi got a two run single to tie the game
Mark Fidrych replaced Jim Crawford
Don Baylor singled on the second pitch to win the game 6-5.

So Fidrych finally had his first chance to pitch but did not have a good start to his career. That's a really tough spot for a rookie to be making his debut. I certainly won't judge him on two pitches after sitting for two weeks.

This is the third time this year the Tigers have blown a lead in the ninth inning. In another game, the score was tied after 8 and they lost it in the ninth. They are now 3-4 and all of their losses have been tough ones. Their bullpen has not been impressive. I suppose it's better than getting routed every day like last year.

One good thing today was that Leflore started his second game of the season and scored two runs. He has a hit in each game so far. On a re-building team, Leflore really needs to start playing regularly.

April 15, 1976

The season is about a week old but the Tigers have only played two games because three games have been postponed due to rain/snow. They are 1-1 so far.

In their first game, Joe Coleman and John Hiller combined to beat the Indians 3-1. Coleman pitched the first six innings allowing one run and Hiller pitched three scoreless innings to get the save. Willie Horton smashed a two run home run and Dan Meyer added two hits.

Two days ago, the Brewers blanked the Tigers 1-0 on a two hit shutout by Jim Slaton. Ray Bare pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings before being replaced by Hiller. The Brewers scored an unearned run off Hiller when Aurelio Rodriguez, of all people, booted a grounder in the ninth inning. Slaton has two shutouts already.

With lots of days off and good pitching in the first two games there has been no use for Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. I read in The Sporting News this week that Fidrych’s teammates call him “The Bird” because he looks like Big Bird on Sesame Street. He first got the name while playing for Bristol in the Appalachian League. Based on the one game I saw him, I can kind of see the resemblance.

April 8, 1976

With opening day two days away, Ralph Houk completed his 25 man roster today and Fidrych did indeed make the team. He was a long shot to make it at the beginning of camp but Houk made it increasingly clear as the spring went along that he was very impressed. It doesn't seem like a great idea to me as I see him spening a lot of time sitting in the bullpen and occasionally mopping up games. I'd rather he be pitching games for Evansville.

The Tigers starting staff will consist of the aging Joe Coleman, Ray Bare, Vern Ruhle and Dave Roberts. Coleman will be the opening day starter. I'm excited about Ruhle's potential but the rest of the rotation looks like one that won't help them improve on their 102 loss season last year. Come to think of it, maybe Fidrych will get a shot to start some games this season. I do question whether he will be ready to help much this year though. Along with Fidrych, the other relievers are John Hiller, Steve Grilli, Bill Laxton and Jim Crawford.

Here is the opening day starting line-up:

Ben Oglivie CF
Dan Meyer 1B
Willie Horton DH
Rusty Staub RF
Alex Johnson LF
Milt May C
Aurelio Rodriguez 3B
Tom Veryzer SS
Gary Sutherland 2B

The bench consists of: Ron Leflore, Mickey Stanley, Jerry Manuel, Bill Freehan, Chuck Scrivener, John Wockenfuss and John Knox.

Rusty Staub makes them look a little more respectable and the acquisition of Milt May gives them a decent young catcher but it's still not exactly a line-up that strikes fear into opponents. I have no idea why they felt it was necessary to acquire Alex Johnson. I'd much rather see Ron Leflore in there everyday. One thing to look forward to is Jason Thompson, the young slugging first baseman, who should be called up later in the season.
I'm not expecting much from this crew but I can still hardly wait for opening day, always one of the best days of the year. Hopefully, theTigers will make a little progress this year.

April 5, 1976

The Tigers beat the Reds yesterday 3-2 thanks to a single by rookie Jerry Manuel with the bases loaded in the 11th inning. Fidrych pitched 3 shutout innings to start the game and Steve Grilli pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings to win it.

With spring training winding down, it appears that Ralph Houk is leaning towards putting non-roster invitee Fidrych on the 25 man roster. He would start the season in the bullpen but could get some spot starts later in the season. Joe Coleman, Ray Bare, Dave Robets and Vern Ruhle have the starting spots locked up. It seems to me he might be better off getting some starts in Evansville rather than mopping up in Detroit. We'll see what happens.

I've been reading some scouting reports on Fidrych and, despite his young age (21), he is apparently a pretty polished pitcher for a kid two years removed from high school. He has three pitches - a good fastball, a great slider and a change-up. He also has good control, keeps the ball down and has excellent concentration. I'm looking forward to seeing his progress. I hope they are not rushing him.

April 1, 1976

Last night’s Tigers/Red Sox spring training game was on television here in Massachusetts so I finally got a chance to see the Tigers in action. It wasn’t a great game because the Red Sox pounded the Tigers 13-4. I did get to see Mark Fidrych pitch for the first time though. He pitched the first three innings giving up 4 runs in the third after two scoreless frames. He is a tall skinny pitcher with long curly hair. My father said he reminds him of Bill Lee of the Red Sox. He does seem kind of flaky – shaking his arms a lot, making gestures and talking to himself.

I wanted to see him pitch because he is supposed to be a good prospect but also because he grew up in Northborough, Massachusetts. Northborough is just about 40 minutes from where I live so I’m pulling for him. It would be great to see a Massachusetts boy pitch for the Tigers.

The Tigers seem to like him a lot. I was just looking at his statistics and I see that he’s 21 years old and 6-3 175. No wonder why he looks so skinny. He was drafted in the 10th round and was the 231st pick overall last June. He pitched 34 innings for Bristol in the rookie league in 1974 and compiled a 2.38 ERA. Last year he started in Lakeland and moved up to Montgomery and Evansville before the year was over. That is quite a quick progression for a 20 year old 10th round pick!

At all three stops combined in 1975, he pitched 171 innings, had a 3.23 ERA and a 113/62 strikeout /walk ratio. That is not a lot of strikeouts but he is young and I like the fact that he improved with each level. He is definitely somebody to watch this year. I would guess that he will spend much of the year in Evansville but he could get called up to Detroit at some point if he pitches well.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Tigers Sweep Mariners

I was on the road much of the day today and didn't catch the game but I was happy to learn that the Tigers completed their three game sweep of the Seattle Mariners. I did see the first two games of the series and they were two excellent games. It's late but here are a few quick notes:

  • The starting pitching has been good all year and it really shined in this series. Mike Maroth, Nate Robertson and Justin Verlander combined to pitch 20 innings allowing just 1 run on 10 hits and 7 walks.
  • The bullpen was a bit more adventurous but it still got the job done. Todd Jones returned from his hamstring to get saves on Friday and Sunday while Fernando Rodney saved the middle game. Jones is going to be the closer and Rodney the set up man for the foreseeable future. Rodney was really sharp in Jones' absence but Jones was acquired to be the closer and that's what he'll do unless he shows he can't do it. I like Rodney better but I don't have a big problem with the decision right now.
  • Mike Maroth leads the league with a 0.49 ERA. His elbow seems to be OK and his next start will be on Wednesday. Kenny Rogers is the 10th in the league at 3.38.
  • The Tigers 12-7 record is their best start since 1993 when they started 13-6. That, of course, was also the last year they finished over .500 (85-77). They did start off 11-7 in 2004 so I'm not going to get too excited yet. I do think they have a better team this year than they did in 2004 though.
  • They have won 5 games in a row and are 5-1 on their western road trip so far. If I was told before the trip began that they would go 5-4, I would have been happy. Obviously, I'm looking for better than that now. They next travel to Anaheim for a three game series against the Angels.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Detroit Tiger Prospect Report - 4/22/06

As the season goes along, I'll be doing periodic updates on many of the Tiger prospects throughout the minor leagues. I'm not going to list them in any particular order. I'm just going to list some of the most interesting prospects at each level. I won't mention every prospect on every report, just ones that seem noteworthy at the time I'm writing it. I may occasionally even mention some marginal prospects who happen to be having good seasons. Here is this weeks report team by team:

Toledo Mudhens (AAA)
Record: 6-10

Wil Ledezma, who has been struggling with his control for over a year, is off to a good start: 23 innings, 2.28 ERA and an impressive 26/6 K/BB ratio.....There is not much offense at Toledo so far. Jack Hannahan is now playing multiple positions and is batting .306/.397/.469....Donald Kelly was hit in the back of the head with a cut off throw this week but he reportedly is OK. He has an OBP of .371 but is still making errors (3 so far)

Erie Seawolves (AA)
Record: 6-10

Brent Clevlen got off to a slow start but is starting to get going. He is batting .279 with 9 walks but not showing much power yet - just one home run.....Hard throwing Humberto Sanchez is off to a nice start - 1.69 ERA and 20/5 k/BB ratio in 16 innings.....Brian Rogers has a 0.69 ERA, no walks and 16 K in 13 innings.....One guy who continues to struggle offensively is Tony Giarratano who is batting .232 with no power and 17 k

Lakeland Tigers (A+)
Record: 8-7

Jeff Larish is off to one of the best starts of any Tiger minor league hitter - .269/.400/.462. His 10/12 BB/K ratio is especially impressive.....Jeff Frazier is batting .313/.348/.453 but needs to improve on his 4/15 BB/K ratio.....Clete Thomas is showing improved power batting .271/.338/.441 but has struckout 20 times.....Wilken Ramirez is off to a slow start batting .267 with little power and 18 strikeouts....Jair Jurrjens has a 2.12 ERA and a 14/1 k/BB ratio in 17IP....Kevin Whelan continues to impress with 9k and a 1.59 ERA in 5 2/3 IP. He is expected to move up the ladder fast

Western Michigan Whitecaps (A)
Record: 9-6

The most impressive Tiger minor leaguer so far has been Cameron Maybin who is batting .352/.397/.593 and racking up outfield assists. I said I'm not ranking these guys but he is #1 at this time.....Michael Hollimon is hitting .321/.419/.453.....Sendy Vazquez has not allowed a run in 16 innings .....Reliever Orlando Perdomo has a 1.17 ERA , no walks and 11 K in 7 2/3 innings.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Pitching, Defense and Power

The season is now 10 percent done and it’s time for my weekly look at Tiger team statistics. As I listen to the first game of the series against the Mariners on the radio, here is where the Tigers stood going into the game:


Table: How the Tigers Rank after 16 Games (Record: 9-7)


Statistic

2005 Rank

2006 Ranks

(7 games)

Winning Percentage

11

4




Runs scored/game

11

7

BA

4

4

BB/PA

14

11

ISO

7

1

BB/SO

14

12

HR

7

1

OBP

12

7

SLG

6

2

OPS

7

4

RC27

7

5




Runs allowed/game

8

2

FIP (pitching)

12

3

DER (fielding)

8

1

ERA

8

3

BB/9

7

6

SO/9

13

6

SO/BB

9

6

BAA

10

1

HR/9

13

4

FPCT

11

4


These are the highlights:

  • The Tigers have scored 85 runs (7th in the league) and allowed 68 runs (2nd in the league) which gives them a Pythagorean record of 10-6. This is one game better than their actual record of 9-7
  • They are 3rd in the league in pitching (using FIP or fielding independent pitching) and 1st in the league in defense (using DER or defensive efficiency record). They are 6th or better in every pitching and fielding category.
  • Offensively, they are 4th in batting average, 1st in isolated power but 11th in walks/plate appearance (their biggest team weakness once again this year).
  • In summary, they are are off to a good start and they are doing it with pitching, defense and power and the biggest thing slowing them down is lack of patience at the plate.
  • Tigers take the lead against the Mariners 1-0 in the sixth. Sac. Fly for Polanco. Inge scores.

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