You don’t hear a lot about position battles during the season anymore. In a way though, Jim Leyland has created just that by relegating Dontrelle Willis to the pen in favor of Armando Galarraga. He’s basically telling Galarraga the spot is his for the time being as long as he doesn’t give him a reason to yank him. So far so good as Galarraga rose to the occasion last night with a nice start in the Tigers win. Maybe now is a good time to light a fire under some of the other Tigers players.
It’s amazing how good the Tigers have been in their wins yet so bad in their losses. One of the options at Bill James Online is to view the breakdown for a team by wins and losses and the numbers are skewed. In the Tigers 31 losses, they’ve scored just 62 runs. That’s a nice, even two runs a game. They’re ERA is 5.78 and they’re hitting at a paltry .210/.280/.320.
In the Tigers 22 wins, they’ve scored 192 runs. That’s almost nine runs a game and they’re hitting .332/.402/.578. They have more then twice as many homeruns (39 versus 16) in nine fewer games. Even the pitching is better with a 3.50 ERA.
In a similar chart, the Tigers have scored seven or more runs thirteen times and they’ve won all 13 times. Similarly, they’re 19-2 when they score six runs or more. When they scored five runs or less, they’re 3-29. That includes an 0-20 record in games in which they’ve scored two runs or less.