When the Tigers won their first four games, fans started dreaming about a 35-5 start and a wire-to-wire divisional title like 1984. A few days later, the Tigers are out of first place and fans are back to reality. After two lackluster performances at Chicago, resulting in 5-2 and 5-1 losses, the Tigers are now 5-3, and one half game behind the White Sox.
For the second straight day, the Tigers bats were silent today, this time against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. Detroit managed just three hits off Floyd in six innings and five overall. Floyd did give the Tigers some opportunities with three walks and three hit batsmen, but they failed to capitalize going zero for four with runners in scoring position and hitting into three double plays.
Lead-off hitter Austin Jackson continued to set the table with three more hits today and is now batting .433/.528/.700 on the young season. The other offensive bright spot was right fielder Brennan Boesch hitting his first homer of the season to account for the only Tigers run.
Tigers rookie Adam Wilk pitched fairly well in his first major league start allowing just two runs on three hits in five innings. Unfortunately two of the hits were solo home runs. The Tigers young southpaw had a strange and almost tragic finish to his outing. While sitting in the dugout in the top of the sixth, he was hit in his pitching shoulder by a line drive off the bat of Prince Fielder. I would bet that not two many pitchers have left their first major league start after getting hit in the shoulder by a teammates line drive. fortunately, it's just a bruise and he is not expected to miss any time.
The Tigers bullpen was a problem again with Collin Balster and Daniel Schlereth allowing three runs in three innings. You have to wonder how many more chances Schlereth will get before he ends up in Toledo. He has not gotten the job done in any of his appearances so far this year. He has given up runs in three out of his four games and in the other game he walked the only batter he faced.
The Tigers still should have a great season and are heavily favored to win the AL Central, but it may not be as easy we imagined. We know it won't be wire to wire anyway.