Thursday, May 10, 2012

Every Ten Games: 30 Down, 132 To Go

That’s not a misprint. There are 132 games to go this season. Strange, by the level of panic I suspected we were in mid-September somehow.

It doesn’t change the fact that it’s been a rough couple weeks for the team. Let’s take a look at what we’ve seen so far.

AFTER THIRTY GAMES

Record: 15-15
Division: Second Place (2 games back)
Scored: 124 runs
Allowed: 127 runs

Top Five

1. Justin Verlander: 3-1, 2.63 ERA, 48 K, 0.94 WHIP
2. Drew Smyly: 1-0, 1.59 ERA, 34 K, 1.09 WHIP
3. Austin Jackson: .319 Avg, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 148 OPS+
4. Duane Below: 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 9 K, 0.64 WHIP
5. Prince Fielder: .309 Avg, 5 HR, 15 RBI

Verlander is still the most impressive pitcher in the game. Smyly, though, has surprised everyone with his amazing start to the season. If only we could get the kid some run support. Jackson continues to rake. Below has been the bullpen’s brightest spot so far. And Fielder is the most consistent threat in the lineup so far, even if the power isn’t what many expected out of the gate.

Bottom Five

1. Ryan Raburn: .130 Avg, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 OPS+
2. Brennan Boesch: .213 Avg, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 55 OPS+
3. Delmon Young: .226 Avg, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 69 OPS+
4. Jose Valverde: 2-1, 5.27 ERA, 2 BS, 79 ERA+
5. Ramon Santiago: .159 Avg, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 15 OPS+

Even I admit Raburn can’t continue to be thrown out there every day looking as lost as he does. Boesch runs into one occasionally, but the majority of the time looks like it’s his first day every playing baseball. Young has been awful on and off the field. Valverde continues to give Tiger fans a heart attack every time he enters a game. And Ramon makes the list for not giving Jim Leyland a reason to take Raburn out of the lineup with is dismal start.

Best Game: 4/8/12: Tigers 13, Red Sox 12 (11 innings) (Avila walkoff)

Worst Game: 5/7/12: Mariners 3, Tigers 2 (Dotel meltdown)

The Dotel game felt like watching a car accident involving a loved one. Awful.

Top Complaints About Jim Leyland (Not Necessarily by me…)

1. Why is Ra(y)burn still playing!?!
2. Why is (insert pitcher) coming into the game?
3. Why isn’t (insert batter) batting (insert lineup position)?

Overall Impression of Team

Be happy the Tigers are at .500. They’ve been terrible so far on offense. Only the starting pitching has kept this team from a Royals-like existence so far. But with the New Twins of Seattle in the rear view mirror, things may be perking up. Here’s the schedule for the next couple weeks or so.

4 games vs. Oakland
2 games vs. Chicago
2 games vs. Minnesota
3 games vs. Pittsburgh
3 games vs. Cleveland
3 games vs. Minnesota again

If the current Tigers lineup doesn’t pick up against these teams, then I’ll agree that it’s maybe time to make some moves. Until then, save your panic.

There’s 132 games to go.

I'll be back later this evening with a preview of the Oakland series. I'm not sure if you've heard, but YOU KNOW WHO is playing for them now. Fun...

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