I am so sick of hearing Dan Dickerson say “and the Tiger’s threaten, but don’t score”.
Sorry Dan, I wasn’t aiming at you.
Luckily tonight I was out of beer.
This is the theme of the 2011 Detroit Tigers – who after 29 games now sit with 12 wins and 17 losses. 8 games back of Cleveland.
Yeah, Cleveland. What the hell’s going on in Cleveland?
And Kansas City? They sit 4½ games up on the Detroit baseballers.
The Tigers can get men on base. But at the end of most innings, those same base runners trot into the dugout from the base they were standing on to get their gloves.
As a fan, this is maddening.
But even more maddening are the errors that are plaguing this defensive squad.
Short hop grounders through Inge’s legs, and bad throws to first. Pitchers tossing the ball into the outfield or foul territory trying to pick off runners. Balls that bounce off the outfielders or over their heads – one bouncing off Ryan into the stands for a dinger. Passed pitches on Avila – pitches he should be catching – bouncing back to the wall as opposing base runners trot home from third.
On the topic of Avila, his bat has been incredibly hot hitting in the .340s. But I do not see the same quality defense that the announcers and sports talk radio seem to say. He looks to me to be hard to pitch to.
Our starting rotation, for the most part, has had quality starts, but the bullpen – supposedly hoped to be the strength of this club in the spring, has seen both Benoit and Valverde fail in Grande style.
This line up has some power – sporadic and dispersed throughout – with not enough hitters batting over .240 to string together a big inning.
You can count the number of big inning this season on one hand. And you can’t use your thumb.
In fact, the way this squad plays defense, you wonder if these boys have thumbs to put in these gloves.
But this news just in. Will Rhymes, the Cinderella second baseman who hasn’t hit over .200 has just been sent down to Toledo, and Scott Sizemore is coming back up to challenge once again for the two-bagger spot.
Will that help? I don’t really consider Scott Sizemore to be a sparkplug.
But Miguel Cabrera plays on. Solid defense and powerful consistent offense.
Cabrera has picked this team up and is carrying them all on his shoulders. But for the most part, the rest of this squad is just dead weight. Aside from Peralta and Avila, and Ramón Santiago (when they let him play) – this squad is just dragging every positive thing done by the starting rotation and Miggy down like an anchor in deep still seas.
So close. So far away.
These current wearers of the old English D aren’t bums. But it’s hard to defend the brand of baseball that they have played in these first 29 games.
Some of Leyland’s decisions are hard to defend – leaving struggling pitchers in – pulling strong releiver’s too early – sending runners at the wrong times – and trying to play small ball to move runners into scoring position with the players not executing.
I love my Tigers. And I haven’t missed following a game somehow yet this season. And this is just frustrating. Exhausting. Humbling. And humiliating.
Because night after night it’s just the same old story.
The Tiger’s just threaten, but they just don’t score.