The Tigers are in the midst of yet another streak, unfortunately this time it’s of the losing variety. They’ve dropped four in a row to once again fall to .500 and they sit at an even 22-22, tied with the Royals and six games back of the Indians in the American League Central. On Monday, I was listening to the ESPN Baseball Today podcast and both Keith Law and Eric Karabell said they thought the Tigers were the best team in the division at that point. I wonder if they still think that after the beat down at the hand of the Pirates last year.
The Indians still have the best record. I’m still not convinced they’re the best team in a weak division but you can’t argue with the results so far. At this point, even if they play .500 ball the rest of the season, they’ll finish with 87 wins which means they’re a contender. Of course the they have a tough weekend series against their intra-state rivals, the Reds.
Last nights loss was a tough one. Ramon Santiago belted a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game at 1-1 but then in the bottom of the sixth, Brad Penny was pummelled. Brayan Villereal couldn’t stop the damage and by the end of the frame, it was 7-1. Joaquin Benoit actually pitched a shutout inning and hopefully that gets him on track but then Jose Valverde was touched up for three runs in the ninth in his tune up appearance. Final score was 10-1.
Max Scherzer gets the start today and he looks to improve on his perfect 6-0 record. You can’t argue with the results but some of Scherzer’s underlying numbers are troubling. For a guy with a 2.81 ERA, he sports a 1.39 WHIP. His walk rate is high and his home run rate is very high. He either needs to improve on this or eventually things will come back to haunt him. Still, when you’re striking out almost a batter an inning, you can make some mistakes. Anyway, we’ll see how he does this afternoon. Game time is 1:35.