In case you haven’t heard, the Tigers are off to a rather pedestrian start. When it was 0-3, I told people it wasn’t a problem and even at 0-6, I’m not TOO concerned yet but history tells us some interesting things. Only two teams have started 0-6 and made the playoffs. The 1974 Pirates and the 1995 Reds both did it (I picked this up on the telecast last night so I hope they’re the only ones) so there’s some history that teams have been able to bounce back. The bad news is, the 1974 Pirates won 88 games and the 1995 Reds won just 85. I’m figuring at a minimum, the Tigers will have to win 92-93 wins to make the playoffs and even that might be low.
Taking this a step further, two American League teams last year had losing streaks of at least six games and still made the playoffs. The Yankees lost seven in a row for their longest streak and the Angels had a six game skid so the long skid doesn’t neccesarily mean the Tigers are in really deep water. Ironically, the two teams that made it into the ALCS, the Red Sox and Indians, had just a four game losing streak as their longest.
I also still think the Indians are the team to beat and they stand at 3-3. That means the Tigers, while they’re 4 1/2 games out of first place, are just three games back against their primary competition. I know it’s probably a bit arrogant to discount the White Sox start but I’m figuring they’ll come back down to earth soon.
What’s disconcerting is that American League low ERA of 5.30. That’s the category where the Tigers are going to have to improve. I know they haven’t scored the runs, but even with this offense, an ERA of 4.75 isn’t going to do them much better then 85 wins. Still, through these first six games, the Tigers have the worse offense (15 runs scored) and their pitchers have given up the most runs. This sounds like a no brainer, but that cannot continue.
Is it disappointing that the Tigers are off to such a bad start considering this is the most anticipated season of my lifetime? Sure it is, but there’s still months to recover. And for those keeping score, no team has started 0-7 and made the playoffs so the question is, will tomorrow night’s game be the most important of the season? Hardly, but it’ll be one more shovel full of dirt that’s coming out of the hole the Tigers are digging themselves into if the lose.