If there’s some good news, it’s that the White Sox lost today. With three weeks left in the season, the Tigers stand two games ahead of the streaking Twins and 3 1/2 games ahead of the White Sox for the Wild Card. More good news is, both the Twins and White Sox play tough teams all week this coming week. In the meantime, the Tigers have two days off this week and play two at home against the struggling Rangers and three at home against the Orioles. So if the Tigers aren’t at least a game or two better then they are right now, it means either 1) the White Sox and Twins are playing out of their minds and/or 2) The Tigers have hit rock bottom and they’re no longer taking care of business against the bad teams.
The Tigers continue to struggle at the plate. They’ve scored seven runs in the past three games and that’s boosted by the five runs they racked up Friday. This series had it all, and in a bad way. The Tigers lost a nice lead on Friday (twice), they lost a pitchers dual on Saturday and then got blown out today.
Jeremy Bonderman hasn’t had a quality start since August 15 and his post All Star Break numbers are getting downright bad. If you throw in today’s game, his ERA is 5.38 and his WHIP is up over 1.50. He’s also walking batters a much higher clip, so it’s interesting that while people talked about Nate Robertson and Kenny Roger’s second half collapse, it was Bonderman who’s really been knocked around.
To a certain extent, the pitching is still there. The Tigers still lead the majors in ERA and they’re one of only two teams who have an ERA below 4.00 (Padres are the other team). They’re also tied for first in WHIP at 1.28 (again with the Padres). Even in the second half, the Tigers have the fourth best ERA, so the collapse has been on offense.
Despite being middle of the pack in batting average, the Tigers are 26th in OBP at .326. That’s not good and accounts for a lot of the solo homeruns the Tigers have hit this year.
The Twins are no longer on the schedule this year, which I’m thinking is a good thing. We play three at Chicago next week, which is going to pretty much define whether the Tigers coast in the final week or are fighting for their lives for even a Wild Card spot.
On Tuesday, we have Kenny Rogers going up against Vicente Padilla. Enjoy the day off. I think there’s a football game or something on tomorrow night.