The Tigers have just been swept by a team that is only now .500 with the sweep. Granted the Mariners are a pretty good pitching team, but they didn’t win this series with only pitching, but with what is becoming an impressive offense. In the series against the Tigers they had a team batting average of .240, had 37 hits, 10 walks, 10 stolen bases, and a team OPS (on base percentage + slugging percentage) of.650. Either the Mariners have found their offensive stride or the Tigers pitching was just plain so bad that they allowed one of the least effective offensive teams currently in the MLB (even after this series their numbers are not good compared to the rest of the league) to not only score runs, but flourish.
Rick Porcello didn’t have a tremendous start last game, but he spread out the Mariners scoring long enough and held them low enough for the Tigers to eventually tie it up only to lose the lead immediately in the 7th. However the culprit again was the Tiger’s offense or lack thereof. They simply continue to be unable to score runs in the first 5 innings and are absolutely unable to put runners in scoring position or bring them in when they are. It’s an extremely troubling problem to have since this team’s plan is to score a ton of runs in order to make up for probable defense issues (which haven’t really come from the expected sources). There have been some positive strides made by the team in an attempt to manufacture runs through bunting, albeit not until the 9th inning, and the release of Brandon Inge who was an issue offensively (expected) and defensively (not expected). They’ve replaced Inge with Toledo infielder Brad Eldred who is currently hitting .388 in AAA with 10 home runs and 35 RBI’s. He will placed immediately into the DH spot in the lineup and hopefully Ramon Santiago will be playing a great deal more 2nd base with Ryan Raburn also struggling at the plate.
Thad Weber has also been sent down to Toledo and replaced with Luke Putkonen. I thought Weber did better than his numbers would suggest for his first trip to the big leagues. I thought Weber showed pretty good command and was handcuffed, and sometimes outright screwed, by the guys behind the plate. He threw a number of curve balls for what appeared to be strikes and a few for strikeouts which were not called that way and resulted in an RBI or walk. Still, Weber didn’t do his job which is to not allow runs. Hopefully he’s learned a valuable lesson and will get another chance in the majors soon.
As much as I would never wish for Delmon Young to be arrested for any reason, much less aggravated racial assault, there could be some good that comes from it. Perhaps it will be a catalyst for him personally and therefore for the whole team. If not, perhaps it will allow for Brennan Boesch to move back to the 5 spot and Santiago up to the 2nd spot where he belongs ad that will help the team score a few more runs. Regardless, something needed to change to get this team playing like it should and hopefully these are the changes needed to turn it around against the Yankees.
About the Author
Written by Brett Decker
I'm a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University with a degree in Social and Political Science. I love talking sports and welcome sports related tweets @decker_brett.