Take a deep breath…

this is a 162 game season and the Tigers are going through a rough patch.  It’s concerning because the slump began with Smyly’s start last Monday and continued through the rotation, with the exception of Sanchez, and extended through Smyly’s start yesterday.

This is a rare instance when I’m going to stick up for the offense.  It has to be demoralizing to come to the plate and be down four runs in the first or second inning.

Here’s my remedy to end this streak:

  • The offense has to score early
  • One person on the staff has to step up, starter or reliever
  • Romine has to go at short.  His fielding is an abomination.  I’m not sure Worth is any better but Romine has been embarrassing.  On that note, Castellanos isn’t looking good defensively either.
  • I won’t mention Hunter again.  Yet.

Simple right?

“God I love baseball.” -Roy Hobbs | The Natural.

 

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Don’t look now…

but the Tigers have lost four in a row and that vaunted pitching staff is getting beaten into a conniption by teams that were struggling offensively.  What is it with Tigers pitching that allows struggling offensive teams to get healthy?  Remember the San Diego series in April?

Here’s another astute observation, the Tigers don’t have a shortstop.

The only highlight of this afternoons 9-2 loss to the Rangers was that Danny Worth may have found a way to stay in the big leagues.  He can throw a knuckle ball and pitched a scoreless ninth inning and struck out two.

There’s not much more to say.  The Rangers took the Tigers out behind the woodshed.

Let’s hope the losing streak stops at four.

 

“God I love baseball.” -Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Tigers Dust Astros Winning Streak at Seven

Behind 5 and 1/3 ball smokin innings from Tigers newcomer, Robby Ray, the Tigers beat the Astros into a conniption, 11-4, and extended their winning streak to seven. Ray allowed one earned run on five hits.  He walked only one and struck out five.

What impressed me the most about Ray was that he got in trouble early in the first and was able to pitch out the jam without surrendering a run.  It’s a small sample size but perhaps Dave “Double D” Dombrowski knows a thing or two about a thing or two.

The Good:

  • Just when I was beginning to worry about Miggy, he shoved those concerns down my throat.  He was 4-5 today with a homer and four RBIs.  If he returns to form this could be a very formidable Tigers offense.
  • Ian Kinsler had three hits.
  • Alex “A Squared Money” Avila, Nick Castellanos, and “Downtown” Danny Worth had two hits each and Worth had three RBIs.
  • The Amazing Al pitched a shut out inning in relief and struck out two.
  • The Tigers got 18 hits and scored in multiple innings, the first, third, fourth, seventh and eighth.

The Bad:

  • Justin Miller struggled through the ninth.  He allowed three runs, but to be fair, only one of them was earned.

The Ugly:

  • I like the new look offense but really Torii?  You get thrown out trying to steal third with one out and Miggy batting?

I guess we can’t get too excited, the Astros are not good, to say the least but seven straight is seven straight and we’ll take all the Ws we can get.  Also, I like the 18 hit attack and scoring in multiple innings.  This is in stark contrast to last year when the Tigers seemed to score all their runs in only one or two innings.

“God I love baseball.” Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Keep Dirks For His Glove?

Nebraksa knows turned me onto this article at DetNews dot come by Kurt Mensching, Tigers have the left fielders they need, if they’re used correctly.

For the first few paragraphs, I was agreeing with what Mensching had to say.  I don’t think Nick Castellanos is the answer to the vacancy in left field.  He’s not pounding AAA pitching, he’s only batting .278.  I think that at this point, the best the Tigers can do is platoon and hope Dirks’ bat perks up.  If it doesn’t, try Don Kelly.  If that doesn’t work, hoping and praying won’t hurt.

The second half of the article, Don’t Forget About Defense, is where I lost any interest in the story.

What should keep Dirks in the lineup is his glove. That’s a far cry from what we’ve come to expect of past Tigers left fielders.

The advanced metrics have painted a nice picture of his game. Those stats take into consideration a number of factors, such as where and how hard a ball is hit as well as the unique configuration of each stadium. Baseball Information Solutions has people watch and “score” every defensive play, then formulas are applied to the results to compare players.

This season, Dirks has been worth eight runs more than an average left fielder according to the Defensive Runs Saved stat. For his career, he has been worth 18 runs.

Using Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games, Dirks again shines. He has been about 17 runs better than an average left fielder this year per that stat. For his career, he has been worth about five runs per 150 games by UZR.

I am a believer in Money Ball statistics and I’m sure there is an advance metric that makes Andy Dirks look like Willie Mays but I also know statistics and metrics can be manipulated to say anything.  In fact, there is an entire book written called, How To Lie With Statistics.  I’m not saying this “advance metric” is a Mensching fabrication, I’m just saying that empirical evidence doesn’t seem to corroborate the metric.

Dirks, at best has been an abomination in left field.  I’m thankful when he makes the routine play.  Anything more than routine, he won’t come close to.  I remind readers again of his embarrassing performance on the last trip to Chicago.

Look, here’s the bottom line, I know the Tigers don’t have a left fielder.  I think platooning and hoping is the only option for the Tigers right now.  That being said, running Dirks out there every night because Jim Leyland suffers from Dirksburger Syndrome is not the proper way to platoon.  Use Tui against lefties, but don’t let him sit around so long that he gets K’d by Ryan Rayburn.  Put Dirksy in against righties but don’t let him struggle for a month before pulling him out.

One more thing, NEVER PULL MIGUEL CABREREA OUT OF A CLOSE GAME UNLESS HE’S INJURED.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural