Let's call it what it was; it was a stinkin' miserable, downright awful week for the Olde English D. Two winnable series were lost, and the division lead vanished. Poof. Gone.
The offense was to blame.
Sure, they garnered nine runs in the lone win but only managed to plate seven in the remaining five.
- Friday @ New York: Jim Leyland allowed Joel Zumaya to waste a great start from Lucas French. (L, 5-3)
- Saturday @ New York: Justin Verlander was more than solid, but the run support never came. (L, 2-1)
- Sunday @ New York: Edwin Jackson was outstanding, but the run support never came. (L, 2-1)
- Tuesday vs. Seattle: The offense exploded early, and the Tigers held off a late Seattle rally. (W, 9-7)
- Wednesday vs. Seattle: Armando Galarraga surrendered only one hit, but the run support never came. (L, 2-1)
- Thursday vs. Seattle: Luke French pitched five strong innings, but the run support never came. (L, 2-1)
One has to wonder if Rick Porcello received the stink eye from his fellow starters. He recorded the lone win as the lone Tiger starter to surrender more than two runs.
No gold star will be awarded this week.
With the standins locked at the top it's only fitting that the White Sox should come into town this weekend.
I'm hoping it's not do-or-die time for the Tigers, but a series losses against Chicago could cripple the clubhouse morale.
You don't need me to tell you this series is big.
- Friday vs. Chicago (Game 1): Justin Verlander (10-5, 3.34) vs. Jose Contreras (4-8, 4.75)
- Friday vs. Chicago (Game 2): Eddie Bonine (0-0, 9.00) vs. Bartolo Colon (3-6, 4.23)
- Saturday vs. Chicago: Edwin Jackson (7-5, 2.52) vs. Gavin Floyd (8-6, 4.40)
- Sunday vs. Chicago: Rick Porcello (9-6, 4.40) vs. John Danks (8-6, 3.98)
Detroit will miss seeing Mark Buehrle, and that's a very good thing. The four guys the Sox will throw out there are all very capable pitchers, but they are all hittable too. The Tigers don't want to get to the ninth inning and allow Bobby Jenks to close them down.
If I was a Tiger I would be salivating at the thought of playing Texas again. The boys are 6-0 against the Rangers on the year, with all six games at Comerica Park.
Let's hope the success continues in Arlington.
- Monday @ Texas: Armando Galarraga (5-8, 4.82) vs. Tommy Hunter (2-1, 2.17)
- Tuesday @ Texas: Luke French (1-1, 2.22) vs. Vincente Padilla (7-5, 4.67)
- Wednesday @ Texas: Justin Verlander (10-5, 3.34) vs. Scott Feldman (8-3, 3.87)
Six games in seven days is enough to wear down any team but the Tigers can ill afford to relax. I think the goal for this week should be a split with Chicago and two of three in Texas.
Here's what the AL Central looks like right now.
- Detroit (49-44) next four opponents: CWS (4), @ TEX (3), @ CLE (3), BAL (4)
- Chicago (50-45) next four opponents: @DET (4), @ MIN (3), NYY (4), LAA (3)
- Minnesota (48-47, 2 GB) next four opponents: @ LAA (3), CWS (3), LAA (3), @ CLE (3)
The upcoming schedule sets up well for Detroit. If the Tigers can survive the Sox this weekend, they should be in good shape. Texas, Cleveland, and Baltimore are all beatable teams for Detroit. Chicago, on the other hand, must face Minnesota, the Yankees, and Angels.
News, notes, and nonsense
- The Tigers sent scouts to check out A's slugger Matt Holliday, but new reports say talks between Oakland and St. Louis are heating up.
- Dontrelle Willis works toward another comeback from his anxiety disorder
- Mark Buehrle throws the 17th perfect game in MLB history—the second no-hitter of his career
- Carlos Guillen is 4-7 at the plate in two games with AAA Toledo.
- Eddie Bonine will be called up from Toledo after game one of the doubleheader to start in game two.