Despite their narrow escape of a home sweep at the hands of divisional foe Cleveland, Detroit entered the month of June in trouble, and six games later, they only have two wins to show for a six-game homestand.
It won't get any easier this weekend as the Tigers head to Cincinnati to face the NL Central's top team. The Reds are five games better than Detroit overall at 31-24. They also boast the third-best home record in the National League.
For Detroit, the "it's a long season" banter has been beaten like a dead horse. They are a team that can take little more beating before it's too much to stand up.
The time is now.
The Tigers are in need of a streak, something they really haven't mustered since their 9-3 start to begin the 2012 campaign—they've only knocked out another 17 wins over the 45 games since that solid start.
17-28 since the rest of the division got their footing won't find the Tigers making any postseason appearances if they don't right the ship, and in a hurry.
Detroit's ability to stay in the hunt much longer without an absolute Chicago collapse and a Cinderella comeback story is waning—and the White Sox are much better than a lucky streak, having won seven of their last 10, albeit they've dropped two in a row.
No, Chicago is indeed a flat-out better team than the Tigers—right now. Anyone arguing different hasn't watched much of either team over the course of the first third of the season.
The Tigers, however, proved last season that they are very capable of getting a strong wind at their backs and allowing the sails to fly at full tilt. A little hot streak over the next 29 games, and they could hit the All-Star break ready for a smashing second half.
Here are three reasons why June will be a turnaround month for the Tigers—and why the rest of the American League should fear that the worst is behind them.