Tuesday, April 25, 2006


(Sorry about the Monday Morning Manager -- my weekly take on the Tigers -- being a day late this week)

Last Week: 5-2
This week: (4/24-26: at LAA [lost 4/24]; 4/28-30: MIN)

In his interview with me for the May issue of Motor City Sports Magazine -- conducted April 12 -- Tigers first base/outfield coach Andy Van Slyke said it was fairly obvious that the current team didn't know how to win quite yet.

"But they're starting to find out that it feels a lot better to win than to lose," Van Slyke told me.

I wonder what AVS would say about the Tigers now, as they sit at a pleasant 12-8, after Monday night's 3-0 loss to the Angels in Los Angeles.

Twenty games does not a season make, but I'm pretty sure most Tigers fans would absolutely have taken 12-8 if it was offered to them at the beginning of the season.

I think what has impressed me most is the 5-2 week on the heels of a disappointing opening homestand. I thought we'd find out a bit about the club should it falter after its 5-0 getaway. And since the Tigers' four-game losing streak that quickly turned them into a 5-4 team, they have gone on a 7-4 run -- including a very impressive, come-from-behind win in Oakland last Thursday -- which will forever be known as the "Brandon Inge 15-pitch at-bat game."

I'd say they rebounded quite nicely from their losing skid at home.

The good news: a 10-3 record on the road. The bad news: only 2-5 at home, and against two divisional rivals. After coming home from the West Coast, the Tigers will try to make hay at home against the Twins and Royals -- two more Central foes, but not ones that are in the same class as the White Sox and Indians. It's even more imperative this year that the Tigers beat up on the Royals, because not only is Kansas City already the orchestrators of an 11-game losing streak this season, they are clearly the dregs of the league -- which means that everyone else is going to rack up wins against them. So beating the Royals at least keeps the Tigers up with the Joneses in the AL. And, the Tigers' record against the bums from KC hasn't exactly been stellar lately.

Bottom line: unless the Tigers get swept in Los Angeles, it's been a wonderful western swing, and if they can get off the schneide at home, we're looking at something like a 17-11 record by the middle of next week.

Oh, how easy it is to be pleased anymore in Detroit!


Blogger Ozz said...

We've been blessed with some solid pitching on this trip too. That definitely helps!

3:49 AM  
Blogger Ian C. said...

The pitching's been outstanding. Even last night, they only gave up three runs to what is arguably one of the more imposing lineups in the AL.

But I agree that this homestand is important. The Tigers absolutely need to prove that they're better than the Twins. And against the Royals, they need to get easy wins where the schedule allows. If they flop at home after doing so well on the West Coast, any progress the Tigers have made will be stunted.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Ozz said...

We definitely can't have a back and forth season with them doing well on the road and then stinking up Comerica.

2:24 PM  

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