Welcome to the end of June. The Tigers remain in first place after a decent winning streak at home. Certainly there has been some good play that has landed them where they are...but there is also some bad and some ugly dragging them down.
- Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson's slugging: the duo have belted 17 homeruns each, and Miguel Cabrera is right behind them with 16.
- Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson's 1-2 punch: This duo has been overwhelming opposing offenses. Jackson is among the ERA leaders in the AL and Verlander is leading in strikeouts.
- Position number 6: Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago have been a great platoon at SS. Above average defense, and Santiago has been doing some yard work lately.
- Armando Galarraga's ERA: 5.65. His strikeout to walk ratio is pretty terrible as well. He is experiencing a sophomore slump. Hopefully he becomes Rick Knapp's new best friend in an attempt to get on the right track.
- Joel Zumaya's letdowns: June has not been kind to him, when we have needed him most. His walks for the month are astounding, and he has been plain predictable, which amounts to getting hammered, even if you can throw cheese at 103.
- Gerald Laird's batting average: He hasn't gotten many hits since the end of April. Change began looming once Dusty Ryan was recalled, knowing Laird's duties would be reduced. Back spasms don't help his case any for playing time.
- The fall of Magglio Ordonez: haircut or not, from a baseball standpoint he has gotten old in a hurry. His swing has slowed, he hits too many ground balls because he isn't able to drive the ball the opposite way for doubles like he used to. His range is diminishing in the outfield, as is his arm. He probably wouldn't be in this category if it were not for his salary. It's sad to see because he is one of baseball's good guys and a fan icon.
- Dontrelle Willis: Wild Willis still can't keep guys off base or from scoring. Because of his bloated salary the front office has kept him in hopes of eventually fixing him, but has been left to making up excuses to DL him to keep the stench of his failure away from Detroit. Another sad story because he another one of baseball's good guys.
- The rise of Nate Robertson...his earned run average: Since a stellar 2006 campaign he has been sliding backward. His ERA has risen toward the stars and he is nearly incapable of getting outs. Ironically, he was placed on the disabled list today, which I learned of after I began writing this article this morning. Regardless, he has earned his place in this category.
To keep winning the Tigers need to do something about the bad and the ugly, and hope the good stays that way, or they will be sitting at home in October.