For the third year in a row this team collapsed in the second half of the season. Going way back to 2006, when this team won the American League pennant, they were unable to win their division with a late season series versus the lowly Kansas City Royals. Last year at the, All Star break they were in first place, and ended up finishing in last. This year their collapse took the entire regular season, and even a 163rd game. After being in first place for much of the year, this team failed to even make the playoffs. They made a couple of low key moves and the tirade deadline that simply did not work, and their fans are left to wonder why can’t this team finish strong?
Their final record was 86-77 and they finished 2nd in the American League Central. That is a hard thing to write since this team spent 164 days in first place. It gets even worse for Tigers fans as they had a seven game lead in early September, and a 2 game lead in the final week of the season. They also had the fifth largest payroll in the MLB, and after the season General Manager Dave Dombrowski said he didn’t have such high expectations for his club.
The Tigers offense was very streaky in 2009, never able to knock in the runs to put games out of reach. They did score 743 runs, hit 183 home runs, and as a team batted .260 for the year. It should be amazing that four of the five Tigers starters recorded double digit victories, but there was no solid fifth man, and a shaky bullpen really let this team down. As a staff they were able to strike out 1,102 hitters compared with the issuing 594 walks.
In all 2,567,185 fans ventured out to Comerica Park to see Tiger home games. For their 81 games held there they averaged 31,693. This team, even with double digit unemployment rates in Michigan was able to sell 79% of their 2009 ticket inventory.