I think Memorial Day is one of the more misunderstood and under appreciated holidays. It was also a pretty big baseball day back in the days. When the season started in mid-April, Memorial Day usually signified the quarter point of the season and it usually had all teams playing doubleheaders. Now, there’s a handful of teams that didn’t even play today. I know doubleheaders are a thing of the past and television usually dictates the schedule but this is another tradition I wouldn’t mind seeing come back.
The Tigers lost today and that meant the Tigers finished the May with a losing record (12-14). They’ve also dropped seven of their last nine in their toughest stretch to date. During the nine game stretch, they’ve gone from tied for first place to four games back (the Twins play later tonight) so the Twins have really capitalized. It’s like the end of last season, just in May.
The big news over the weekend was that the Tigers finally gave up on Dontrelle Willis and designated him for assignment. It’ll be interesting to see what the Tigers can get for Willis (if they can get anything). This season so far was weird because Willis wasn’t downright horrible, he was just consistently mediocre. In seven of his eight starts, he pitched at least five innings and while he never gave up more then four runs in a start, he was usually in the three to four run window. With Max Scherzer finding his groove in Toledo, it just made sense that he get brought back up. The question then was, who was out and Willis was probably the worst of the bunch that made sense (Porcello is struggling, but they’re not paying him a bunch of money and he’s only 21).
And what a re-debut for Scherzer. He struck out 14 in just 5 2/3 innings and he picked up just his second win of the season. In Scherzer’s start, Joel Zumaya picked up the save and with it, an odd trend has developed (and will probably be broken this year). Joel Zumaya has five career saves, and he has exactly one in each of his five seasons with the Tigers. No more then one, and no less then one each season.
We’re four games into the Carlos Guillen at second base experiment and so far so good. Guillen hasn’t made an error but he’s just two for fifteen since coming off of the disabled list. He did hit a home run which helps. Overall, the Tigers are hitting just .221/.316/.325 from their second baseman (prior to today’s game) and it’d be nice to see Guillen get back into a groove and bring that up.
The Tigers host the Indians beginning tomorrow. It’ll be Jake Westbrook against Jeremy Bonderman in the opener.