At 81-81 the Detroit Tigers season ended up a lot better than most of us want to give them credit for. Once again the Tigers played excellent baseball through June. However once this team gets to July and the All Star break they break down play bad baseball, and go 11-15 in July and 13-16 in August. In a weak division that is just not going to get it done and the worse news is this is the fourth of fifth year in a row Tigers fans have seen their team fade down the stretch.
The Tigers offense is led by 1B Miguel Cabrera and he did his job. He hit .328, with 180 hits, 38 home runs, and 126 RBI. However there is no one else in this lineup that is capable of producing over an entire 162 game season. Sure Magglio Ordonez was a great #3 hitter, but he is old and went down for the season with an injury. Simply put the Tigers had the fourth amount of hits (1515) amongst the American League clubs, and the fourth highest team batting average (.268) but only scored the 8th amount of runs at 751 and hit the 8th amount of home runs at 152. This seems to indicate the Tigers lineup is missing something.
The pitching staff is led by Justin Verlander and most baseball people would say that he is more of a #2 guy, then a true ace. Of course he did go 18-9 with a 3.37 ERA so those are ace like numbers. The staff ERA was 4.30, and they struck out 1056 batters while walking 537. In all the Tigers pitching staff gave up 1,445 hits. Closer Jose Valverde racked up 26 saves and had a 3.00 ERA.
All in all the Tigers lineup defiantly needs something, but in today’s MLB it is pitching that rules the day and the Tigers rotation is in the bottom third in every major statistical category. If they want to compete, especially in the park they play in, the starting rotation must improve.
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