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Regarding the Start

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.

While it’s true that the poor start doesn’t indicate that they’re a bad team, it hurts their chances just by being six losses already. From here on out they have 156 games… to become the 93-win team you figure they need to be, they essentially have to play like a 97-win team (.596 W%) for the rest of the season just to get 93 wins.

Still, I’m not convinced it’ll take 93 wins. The Indians have significant weaknesses, too, and nobody else in the Central seems ready to compete. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if the Royals finished 3rd, but that’s assuming our Tigers eventually pass them. 🙂

Posted by Andrew on April 8th, 2008 at 9:06 am

Not to knock you Brian because you weren’t the first one to say it, but I’m sick of people pulling out the playoff talk and the odds of a 0-? team making it. Since I’m trying to remain positive I keep telling myself that this is the best time to have your struggles. Better to lose six straight in April than in September. All this talk will stop if they would just go out and win a game.

Posted by Blake on April 8th, 2008 at 9:53 am

Tiger have to stop treating this as a game, this is each and everyone of their career. For us it is entertainment. If I was paying my staff such salaries I would fire who was responsible for them not producing. In this case it is not Leyland as you probably would jump to blame. The blame ought to be placed on who negotiated the contracts. Obviously missing some serious terms and conditions. In the future we ought to see scaled wages according to performance. This would automatically create more incentive and drive
As well would make player more cautious on their off time, instead hurting your finger moving boxes. When your hands are your tools to making money you treat them like gold. Such scaled wages would avoid causing such unnecessary heart palpitations for investors. I feel for them. If Zumaya, Rodney, and Granderson were playing this would not have happended. Granderson is a team player with the glue that congeals the entire team. We need him.

Posted by gabe on April 8th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

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