Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tigers Head Into Break on High Note

The Tigers crushed the Indians 10-1 today to finish at 48-39 heading into the all-star break. Assuming the Twins hold onto their eight run lead, this means that the Tigers will be 3 1/2 games ahead of the White Sox and 4 games up on the Twins going into next weekend's series at Yankee Stadium. It's hard to complain about the overall result of the season's first half.

You could not have asked for a better finish to the first half than today's game. Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings allowing five hits no walks and eight strikeouts. That gives him a league leading 149 K's for the season which is only 14 short of his total for all of 2008.

Clete Thomas was sent down to Toledo to get regular playing time and to shorten his swing and it has paid off so far. He had a huge day today with a homer, a triple, a single and 5 RBI. He is now 7 for 13 since returning to the Tigers.

Brandon Inge started the home run derby a day early by belting round trippers in the fourth and fifth innings. He now has a team leading 21 for the season. Only Carlos Pena (24) and Russell Branyan (22) have more in the American League.

Marcus Thames went four for four to raise his season line to .272/.331/.544. Marcus continues to play every day and bat clean-up and is holding his own versus right-handers with a .784 OPS. As usual, he is mashing left-handers with a 1.032 OPS. I envision him going into a platoon when Carlos Guillen gets back but for now, at least, it makes sense for him to get regular at bats.

4 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 13, 2009

    Hi Lee:

    What do you make of the home-away splits this year? I don't remember it being so extreme in previous years (at least since moving to CoPa).

    Thanks,
    --Kevin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kevin, I don't know why this particular team would play so much better at home. Looking at the team split stats on ESPN, the pitching/defense is much better at home (3.45) versus the road (4.65). Also, their DIPS% at home is highest in the league and around average on the road. This means that their expected ERA at home is a lot higher than their actual ERA. That suggests good fielding at home is probably part of it.

    Just watching the games, the fielding does seem to be better at home. I don't know whether that's a fluky thing or not.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  3. On second thought, they hitting a heck of a lot better at home too - 5.6 runs per game at home versus 4.1 on the road.

    ReplyDelete
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