Tigers Last Chance to Contend
The Tigers are playing their best baseball. They are in harmony with catcher Pudge Rodriguez and they even won for pitcher Nate Robertson Tuesday night at Comerica, beating Oakland 4-1.
But is all this a big tease?
The Tigers were left for dead after losing five of six on an extended road trip and enduring Pudgegate where he ruffled teammates by leaving during a four-game suspension and returning a day late. The team met and according to people close to the team many of the younger players called out the veterans and demanded more of them. Now there is a switch.
The meeting seemed to turn on a switch and the Tigers find themselves 6 1/2 games out of the wild card race with an opportunity to catch up. They play most of the contenders the next two weeks need to stay hot to make a dent.
They are now 61-62 and I spoke with pitcher Mike Maroth who said don't count this team out. He swears things are different and there is not a magic wall that prevents them from going over .500 and staying there.
We shall see. Currently I do not consider them contenders. But if they sweep Oakland and win the next two series after that then they can make things interesting.
I was at the Oakland game Tuesday night and though the crowd was delightful you never got a sense this was a huge game. People just enjoyed the show and moved on.
The Tigers need to win nine of the next 12 games to create a frenzy here.
Let's see where they are at the end of the mouth before we get too giddy.