Of course, the wins don’t matter nearly as much anymore. The Tigers won two of three this weekend against the Royals and now they head home to take on the Indians. This series looked to be huge back in March and now it’s a just a battle of two teams jockeying for position in the Central. The Indians have rattled off six straight wins and they’re just one game back of the Tigers in the loss column.
Miguel Cabrera drove in his 100th run of the season and this marks the third straight season that the Tigers have had a 100 RBI guy after a five season drought from 2001-2005. Now, we’ll see if Cabrera can become the first Tiger since Bobby Higginson (remember him?) to belt 30 homers in a season. And since I’m hurting for material these days with the Tigers woes, I noticed an interesting season when looking through the 100 RBI list. Dean Palmer drove in 102 runs in 2000 and he hit just .256. What’s strange is, that’s not even the worst batting average by a Tiger. Mickey Tettleton (.245) and Cecil Fielder (.244) are two and one as far as lowest batting with 100 RBIs. The major league record is Tony Armas, who hit .218 and drove in 107 in 1983. Ryan Howard is pressing for the record though because he already has 100 RBIs this season and he’s hitting .229. In fact if the season ended today, Howard would be second on that list behind Tony Armas (the next closest is a distant .232).
Nate Robertson made his first appearance out of the bullpen in a regular season game since 2004. I’m not quite sure how having him pitch to two batters is going to help him develop his breaking pitch but whatever. Chris Lambert, who the Tigers picked up in 2007 when they shipped Mike Maroth to the Cardinals, will make his major league debut on Tuesday and he has the unenviable task of going up against the 18-2 Cliff Lee. I personally though Lambert should have gotten the nod back when they were giving time to Eddie Bonine so I’m interested to see what he can do.
I’m also looking at the career stats for Justin Verlander. When it’s all said and done, his 2008 season is going to better in some regards then his 2006 season. He’s going to have better rates in strikeouts/9 and homeruns/9 and while his walk rate is worse, it’s not THAT much worse. Right now, his WHIP and batting average against are both better then 2006 it’s just the runs. You wonder how many of that is because of the pen. He’s also given up eight unearned runs (only three all of 2006) and that hasn’t helped his record any either.
Armando Galarraga takes on Zach Jackson tomorrow. All three games in this series are night games.