Friday, June 06, 2008

Leyland thinks: My finger stinks, too

The Tigers start a 10-game homestand tonight and they really need to go 7-3 at worst to avoid me kicking dirt on them.

Detroit plays Cleveland, the White Sox and Dodgers in the next three series. At this point, there is no reason to believe the Tigers are better than their 24-35 record other than the fact we perceive them to be capable of so much more.

Here are the facts: Detroit was 0-1 in March, 13-14 in April, 10-17 in May and is 1-3 so far in June. The Tigs are 4-10 in 1-run games and 8-12 in "blowouts" (5+ runs). Their OPS was .792 in March/April, .712 in May, and is .618 in June. Their ERA was 4.88 in March/April, 4.73 in May, and is 5.75 in June.

There is nothing in those numbers to suggest a turnaround. In fact, they seem to get progressively worse in most cases. Who knew? The Tigers were riding high in April, shot down in May.

One of Detroit's big problems is the middle innings, 5 through 7. The Tigers have given up at least one run in 37% of 5th innings, 29% of 6th innings and 36% of 7th innings. Detroit's best inning is the 7th, scoring 34% of the time. Maybe the returns of Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya can help? It might be too late by the time those guys are able to contribute.

The Tigers have hit better at home, where they are 12-14, so I guess there is a little hope for these 10 games. However, Detroit's OPS was .579 on its 3-6 road trip.

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