Jekyll and Hyde Detroit: Would the Real Tigers Please Stand Up

Joe UnderhillCorrespondent IIISeptember 7, 2012

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 02: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers smiles in the dugout after pitching eight innings against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on September 2, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 4-2. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers have been a frustrating baseball team to say the least. On paper they have talent coming out of their ears. Most pundits had them penciled in to win the AL Central and ready to give the Angels and Yankees a run for their money. (Well, now we see how much the experts know, as all three teams are fighting for their playoff lives). 

One series the Tigers show a complete inability to hit the baseball when it matters. After scoring eight runs in a losing effort, they managed 18 hits over the next two games, scoring only a single run. How do you collect 18 hits (12 in one game) and only score one run? It's illogical, and as improbable as their next series in which they swept the first place Chicago White Sox while scoring 16 runs and collecting 28 hits. 

They then follow this up by losing two out of three from Cleveland who, before coming to Detroit, had struggled to win on the road. How in the world can a team who is able to hang with the division-leading White Sox and other playoff-caliber teams (Yankees, Angels, Rays, etc), but can't seem to beat the bottom-dwelling Royals and Indians

The problem seems to be centered on the bats, but the pitching has had its issues as well. It seems as if every time one aspect gets rolling the other lets it down. If the Tigers hope to be playing baseball into October they need to figure out a way to put the Jekyll and Hyde to rest and become the dominant team they could become.