Detroit Sports

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Double or Nothing

The Detroit Tigers have had an interesting start to the 2010 season. They currently sit with a 12-10 record and are 2.5 games out of first place behind the Twins.

Double or Nothing:
Interstingly, the Tigers are leading both leagues in doubles this season with 61 total. Brandon Inge and Miguel Cabrera both have 10 doubles each and are near the top of the league in that category.

Rotation Implosion:
The Tigers starting pitching has been their weakest link this season thus far. In fact, Max Scherzer has the lowest ERA of any starter (4.23). Dontrelle Willis follows suit with an ERA of 5.00. Verlander, Bonderman, and Porcello all have very high ERAs well over 5.00. Each of their starters have had a couple good games, but none have been very consistent (except for maybe Scherzer). It appears that most of the other pieces to the puzzle are coming into place for the Tigers, and it remains frustrating to see the starting rotation, which has so much potential, struggle so much. However, the baseball season is long, and much time remains for the starting rotation to get back on track.

Bullpen Dominance:
Despite the starters failing so far, the Tigers' bullpen has been phenomenal. In fact, five of their relievers have an ERA of under 1.69. Additionally, Joel Zumaya looks like he is totally healthy to start the season. He has 14 strikeouts in just under 13 innings; he also has a WHIP under 1.00. He appears to be back where he was in 2006, where Tigers' fans remember him helping the Tigers reach the World Series in that magical 06 summer. Furthermore, the bullpen has really helped the Tigers come back and win a number of games. With the starting pitching imploding in several games, the Tigers have had to come back on multiple occasions while depending on their bullpen to hold the other team at bay.

New Additions on Offense:
This off season the Tigers made a variety of moves that landed them some new faces in the motor city. So far their new additions have been playing pretty well. First, Johnny Damon has hit well this season. His power numbers are way down, probably mostly due to playing in Comerica, but he is still hitting .321 and currently has a 15 game hitting streak. Second, Austin Jackson has shown flashes of brilliance and will most likely content for AL rookie of the year. However, he is on pace for 245 strikeouts and and only 77 walks. Finally, Scott Sizemore has done decently at second base while hitting .255 on the season.

MVP Season?
Miguel Cabrera has played a MVP caliber season so far. He has come up with huge hits for the Tigers to help them win some games. Also, he leads all of baseball with 25 RBIs and is hitting .341 on the season with a OBP of .426. Cabrera is one of the best power hitters in the league, and his reputation for that has continued this season.

I suppose the Tigers are somewhat fortunate to be two games above 500. As mentioned, their starting pitching has been terrible, but the rest of the team has done rather well. It appears that they have the hitting and bullpen to have a great season, but pitching will ultimately make or break this team. Time will continue to tell the fate of the 2010 Tigers.


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