Detroit Tigers Heading Down a Troubling Path

Blake VandeBunteContributor IJune 16, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 26:  Adam Everett #4, Placido Polanco #14, Armando Galarraga #58 and Dane Sardinha #57 of the Detroit Tigers meet on the mound against the Kansas City Royals on April 26, 2009 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  Detroit won 3-2. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)

The Tigers are struggling again. 

After a pretty nice series win in Chicago against the White Sox, the Tigers went out and laid an egg against the consistently bad Pittsburgh Pirates.  What’s starting to emerge is a pretty troubling pattern.  The Tigers almost always win when their “good” starters are going and they really struggle to win games when their “bad” starters are on the hill.

The problem is this: Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Rick Porcello will almost certainly not win the rest of their starts this season.  They will all probably do a little bit worse the rest of the season than they have done the first two months. 

They are all fine pitchers, but they are all pitching so well that it stands to reason they’ll fall back to the crowd a little bit.  And that’s fine.

So, with this guys falling back to earth just a bit, the Tigers are going to need a bit more from their fourth and fifth starters and that just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.  Armando Galarraga and Dontrelle Willis routinely fall behind early in games.  They are both pros at giving up runs early, which forces the Tigers to play catch up.

This really tells us all we need to know.  Records of the Tigers during the starts of all starting pitchers:

  • Justin Verlander: 9-4
  • Edwin Jackson: 7-6
  • Rick Porcello: 8-4
  • Armando Galarraga: 5-8
  • Dontrelle Willis: 2-5
  • Zach Miner: 3-1
  • Jeremy Bonderman: 0-1
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So…

  • Top Three Starters: 24-14
  • Everyone Else: 10-15

Any questions?

I think it's time the Tigers start thinking about the roles of their fourth and fifth starters.