Tigers at the 1/4 point: worth watching

Submitted by Rodriguesqe on May 15th, 2018 at 11:36 PM

I posted one of these at the 20 game mark. Then, they were just below 500 but "those in the know" said they were fools gold due to an easy schedule.Unsaid was how snake bit they were, and that they could have easily had  5-6 more wins over that stretch.

40 games in, tonight was one of the best wins in a while. I'll take it over anything from the Ausmus era. This team is decimated by injuries but still finds ways to win. I think they have to be considered the surprise team in baseball with a chance to take 1st place in the central tomrrow.

I don't watch every game like during the Leyland years, but when I do watch I really enjoy this club.

Comments

JonnyHintz

May 16th, 2018 at 11:21 AM ^

They have one of the top team batting averages in the league. They’re not hitting for power, but they’re getting on base and they’re running more than they have in the past. If I’m not mistaken, the team ERA is also lower.

Basically, they’re playing good, fundamental baseball. They don’t have a lot of talent and obviously part of their record is due to their easy start to the schedule, but they’re doing the little things well.

JonnyHintz

May 16th, 2018 at 6:13 PM ^

I was speaking more specifically to their offense. Their defense hasn’t been all that bad, but that’s where you can definitely see the talent gap. That’s what is holding the team back from a winning record.

KO Stradivarius

May 15th, 2018 at 11:45 PM ^

It does seem like there is some chemistry.  I watch almost all games, went to the game tongiht, was really surprised they came back.  But they have done it a few times recently so it's a good  watch.  

Gucci Mane

May 16th, 2018 at 1:05 PM ^

What is fun exactly ? Every game they win is a waste. I guess in a perfect world everyone plays great and establishes trade value, then at the deadline the tigers get some legit prospects and never win another game this season. But we need draft picks not meaningless wins.

Lou MacAdoo

May 15th, 2018 at 11:46 PM ^

I’ve been waiting for this post after tonight’s win. What a game! They have a scrappiness to them that they haven’t had in years. Hopefully this is the new identity of the team and they can keep this going all year. They need to take advantage of this fairly weak May schedule because the end of May and first two weeks of June look rough.

xtramelanin

May 16th, 2018 at 5:58 AM ^

two guys camping and a bear has come up to them and they need to get away.  the one guy is putting his running shoes on and the other says, 'what are you doing, you can't outrun a bear', to which his companion responds, 'i don't have to outrun the bear, i just have to outrun you!'

the tigers aren't going to have any chance to get in the playoffs except for winning their own pathetic division.  wonderful win by a no-talent team last night, and hey, 1 game out of first is still 1 game out of first.  what's not to like? 

 

Bschool85

May 15th, 2018 at 11:56 PM ^

I had the MLB Network on when the Indians hit the early grand slam. Wrote this game off as a loss immediately. As the night went along I saw score updates. Watched them take the lead on the bases loaded walk. I’m still not sure if this game says more about Detroit or Cleveland though. Hopefully the young guys keep plugging along. Having the Tigers do moderately well will help the summer move along until football returns.

DrunkOnHiggins

May 16th, 2018 at 6:56 AM ^

At the start of the year I just wanted a competitive team to watch. I wanted a reason to turn the game on. They've given me just that. I've had more fun watching this team for 40 games than at any point over the past two seasons.

The Donger

May 16th, 2018 at 10:01 AM ^

Love watching the overachieving 2018 Tigers who may not be that talented - but never give up, as opposed to that underachieving bunch of slow superstars in the Ausmus era.  A hell of a lot more fun.

Reminds me of our overachieving hoops team this year, who didn't even sniff the Top 25 at the beginning of the year, as opposed to the underachiving Spartys who were loaded with lottery picks and overrated recruits.  We certainly had much more fun watching our team than Sparty, who had to be miserable...

thumpinman

May 16th, 2018 at 6:59 AM ^

Many of us here wanted Gardenhire when the team had some real talent.

Imagine how well Gardenhire would be doing if he had JV, J Up, Miggy two or three years younger, Kinsler, and JD still on the roster?

He’s making lemonade out of lemons right now.

Boner Stabone

May 16th, 2018 at 7:46 AM ^

I will take it. This is basically a AAA team right now with all the injuries.  Gardenhire is working magic with a bunch of misfit toys.  I know it probably will not last, but they have been entertaining nonetheless. 

Naked Bootlegger

May 16th, 2018 at 7:53 AM ^

I'll play "what if" here.  What if the Tigers are sniffing 1st place in mid-July in a dreadful division?    How does that affect potential trade scenarios regarding the few semi-marketable players on the roster?   I assume Liriano, Greene, possibly Castellanos and Fulmer will still be shopped if the right package of prospects is offered.   

My biggest hope was for a Zimmerman bounce back year that made him semi-marketable (yes, salary would be have to swallowed regardless), but those hopes seem to be dashed again.

Otherwise, this team has been fun to follow.   JaCoby Jones is such a spark plug.  I hope he can sustain a BA above .250-.260, because his speed and defense are top notch.

LV Sports Bettor

May 16th, 2018 at 10:08 AM ^

JD Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton and Justin Verlander for Leonys Martin, Jacoby Jones Dixon Machado and Francisco Liriano.

Rest of team is more or less the same nucleus (Iglesias, Miggy, Victory, Castellanos and McCann to go along with same 3 same SP and Greene in pen).

Those current guys all play the same way more or less with Iggy all defense no stick, Miggy productive but injured, Victor washed up, Castellanos maturing as a hitter in his prime but crap defender and McCann just being blah. The nuclues hasn't really changed much.

They just basically took 4 All-Star level players and replaced them with 3 guys who are in MLB because of their defense and not their bats.

Think most would agree that they would take the first group over the other group every day of the week. If Tigers had any of those former guys on this team they'd likely be couple games better and winning this division right now.

jbrandimore

May 16th, 2018 at 10:34 AM ^

You are looking at the entirety of how a team lines up is how it appears in the batting order.

Lets take a look how they line up on the field:

2017 = 2018 Catcher, 1b, SS

2017 more or less the same defensively as 2018, albeit with different players - 2b, RF

Huge defensive upgrades 2018 >>> 2017, LF, 3B, CF.

I would note that 3b and CF are two prime spots where is necessary for good/great defensive players to be positioned.

I can't blame a Tiger fan for not understanding this, as it's been a policy of the Tigers to not give a shit about defense for a couple decades now.