Friday, May 09, 2008

Losing any old way

Hard to believe the Tigers were 14-15 after sweeping the Yankees last week. Now they're on a 1-6 slide (lucky to get the 1) with NY coming to Detroit. Maybe this is what the Tigs need, although sooner or later you are what your record says you are.

Justin Verlander, the one pitcher I wasn't too worried about coming into the season, is 1-6 with a 6.43 ERA. His K/G are down from 8.2 last year to 5.1 this season. His BB/G are up from 3.0 to 3.6. His HR/G are up from 0.89 to 1.19. Oddly, the defense is turning 72% of batted balls in play into outs, the same as last year. His line drive % is a ridiculously low 13.4. A killer stat, though, is his LOB%, which is down from 74.9 last year to 56.4 this year.

A lot of mixed signals in there. "The stuff is fine," manager Jim Leyland is quoted on "The execution of pitches is not."

The loss dropped Verlander's record to 1-6. In terms of wins and losses, it's the worst start by a Tigers pitcher since 2003, when Mike Maroth went 0-9 on his way to 21 losses. Is this the curse of Maroth again?

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