THE ONE RUN, NO WIN, BLUES
Usually Tiger losses do not bother me. For the past decade I've mostly ignored this team because they were not competitive enough to fight back when teams hit first.
They were a low payroll team not worth my time.
This year is different. For the first time in this century there are expectations and so far the Tigers are not playing up to them.
The Tigers dipped to 3-8 in one-run games following Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. It is a disturbing trend considering they were 12-27 in one-run games last season. It is not a coincidence. It is a trend. And it is a trend that must stop.
Yes, it is early in the season. The Tigers are 12-15 and former manager Sparky Anderson always said to not make evaluations on teams until after 40 games. Under the Sparky rules we have 13 games to go.
Well, I am impatient. This is a trend that has been going on for 189 games and there are no signs it is going away.
I look at three people in why ugly trend has become the norm. One is a guy learning on the job. One is a guy rehabing on the job and the third is a guy who did not take the job.
This would not be happening if manager Alan Trammell were more experienced, if outfielder Magglio Ordonez were more healthy and if pitcher Carl Pavano had said yes to Michigan.
I am not up in arms yet. I am just concerned.
Trammell learned from Anderson. He is also learning on the job. My major problem with him is all the rest guys are getting when they should already be rested. These are young and healthy men and it is not like they are running up and down a basketball court or football field six days a week. He needs to ride his horses for a while and then give them rest now and then.
He is also trying to figure out the proper way to use his pitchers. But in his defense this three-headed closer monster of Kyle Farnsworth, Ugueth Urbina and Troy Percival is not working. They are about as consistent as the Michigan weather.
Oh and by the way did you see Urbina blew another one late on Thursday? These guys ride the roller coaster as often as old Tiger pitcher Joe Sparma. Sometimes he was great and sometimes he was hitting the back stop with his fast ball.
The ride was often exhilarating and sometimes frightening.
I already know many of your post will center on Trammell. I really want to know what you have to say about him. So let it rip gang. I will respond.
You have to believe a healthy Ordonez would be worth a win or two here and there because he was one of the deluxe hitters in the league before injuries and bad health sidelined him.
More importantly the Tigers need another stud starting pitcher. They tried to get it by signing Pavano. Although he is just OK with the New York Yankees (2-2, 4.24 earned run average)you must believe he'd be more relaxed here and pitching better.
Let's let this thing play out. The law of averages say you should win about half of your one-run games.
Let's see where they are at the All-Star break before we break into an all out panic.
But so far the trend is not trendy.