35-31, 1st in AL Central (2.0 GU on MIN)
(Photo courtesy of Chris Lee/MCT)
Honestly, the trip to St. Louis really sucked. After looking like garbage in Pittsburgh, I was counting on the pitching of Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson to lead us back to our winning ways, with at least 2 of 3 against the Cards. Yea right.
Verlander gave up five total runs and eight hits in four innings of work, which was one of his shortest outings of the season. For Jackson, the story was different, but the same tune he’s heard all year: lack of run production.
Honestly, I could sit here and blab a ton about the stats and about how “Verlander was due for a bad night” and how Jackson tied his career high in strikeouts. I could tell you all about how Rick Porcello is quickly becoming one of the best young pitchers in the game and how excited I was when the bats finally did come alive last night.
But I won’t talk about those things. Why? Because they don’t matter. What does matter is the fact that this team is horribly inconsistent, scoring five runs over the first two games of the series, and then almost matching that total in the first inning of the third game. Yes, sometimes teams go through funks. That happens. But this team is in a permanent funk for the most part. When you expect them to excel, they choke. When you expect them to choke, it’s a 50/50 chance that they choke even harder or that they fight it and come to play. And then when they hit the road, it becomes the ultimate crap shoot.
Look, I know that we are all looking for something to cling to (at least I am) when it comes to this team. For me, that something is a win streak here and there amidst winning each series they play. Will that always happen? No. But it NEEDS to happen more often than not if we want to have a legitimate chance at the postseason. This team needs to win the games that they SHOULD win (coughcoughPIRATEScoughcough) and compete hard in the games that will define their mettle. Look, I know we aren’t even at the All Star break, but this team looks like they are headed for a big breakdown at some point. Every night the lineup looks cobbled together at best. The pitching staff could implode at any minute. Add to it that Magglio Ordonez is now on the bench indefinitely and Dontrelle Willis is back on the DL with his “anxiety problems”, and anyone that calls themselves a baseball fan can see that there are problems brewing. This does not look like a championship caliber team right now.
On Deck: Milwaukee Brewers
- Record: 37-29 (1st in NL Central, 1.5 GU on St. Louis)
Friday, June 19
- Tigers – Armando Galarraga (3-7, 5.56 ERA, 44 SO)
- Brewers – Braden Looper (5-3, 4.62 ERA, 44 SO)
Saturday, June 20
- Tigers – Alfredo Figaro (0-0, –.—ERA, – SO)
- Brewers – Dave Bush (3-3, 5.31 ERA, 58 SO)
Sunday, June 21
- Tigers – Justin Verlander (7-3, 3.39 ERA, 110 SO)
- Brewers – Yovani Gallardo (7-3, 2.93 ERA, 85 SO)