Monday, May 09, 2011

Monday Morning Manager 2011, Edition 6

Last week: 5-2
This week: at Tor (5/9); at Min (5/10-11); KC (5/13-15)

So, What Happened?

MMM wonders if there was anything of note that happened involving the Tigers last week.

Besides, that is, the 5-2 record, taking three of four from the Yankees, and the Tigers pulling themselves out of the muck they had fallen into with their oh-fer the week before.

Oh yeah---that Justin Verlander guy did something pretty good, didn't he?

MMM was walking the dog and tuned into the radio on Saturday afternoon when Dan Dickerson said, "17 up, 17 down for Justin Verlander."

"Holy....cow," MMM said, "JV has a perfect game going!"

Well, he lost the perfecto in the eighth inning on a close 3-2 pitch, but he finished the no-no against the Blue Jays in Toronto, facing the minimum 27 hitters. It was Verlander's second no-hitter, which is so much cooler than just having one.

The Tigers are showing signs of life again---even that leadoff guy, Austin Jackson. But their streakiness makes MMM wary.

Hero of the Week

You have to ask?

Although, the 5-0 Max Scherzer gets an Honorable Mention.

Goat of the Week

Not too many to choose from this week, thank goodness. In fact, MMM was hard-pressed to label one person this time.

But they don't call MMM "Mr. Clutch" for nothing!

The GotW is the demoted second baseman, Will Rhymes. Why speak of the dead? Because if Rhymes won the 2B job fair and square in spring training over the favorite, Scott Sizemore, the least Will could have done was show why he won the job.

Instead, Rhymes turned into a glorified pitcher at the plate---good only for sacrifice bunts on most days---and was so bad that the Tigers couldn't help but recall Sizemore last Tuesday.

MMM figures Rhymes cost the Tigers the real winner at 2B, Sizemore (who hit the cover off the ball in Toledo), for the month of April while Will tried to get his act together, which he never did.

Maybe we'll see you in September, Will.

Under the Microscope

He's maybe the most polarizing player the Tigers have had in the 21st century, and now MMM puts him UtM. He's 3B Brandon Inge, and he's UtM because once again, Brandon's BA is floating near .200 and now he doesn't even have the power to offset it.

Whispers have grown into shouts that Inge should be benched, traded, cut, what have you. Even trying to hide him in the No. 9 slot in the batting order hasn't called off the dogs.

We all know how great Inge is with the glove, and know manager Jim Leyland loves the guy---as do a lot of the female fans, especially---but when is it time to look elsewhere for a third baseman?

MMM thinks that Inge will be much talked about in the coming weeks. What's worse, Inge has only one home run this season. MMM still can't believe Inge represented the Tigers at the 2009 Home Run Derby.

Upcoming: Blue Jays, Twins and Royals

The Tigers defied the odds and won three straight from the Yankees after a seven-game losing streak. So it's hard for MMM to handicap this team right now.

One more game in Toronto is on tap (where Scherzer tries to go 6-0) before the Tigers make a quick two-game trip to Minnesota. If there ever was a time to play the Twins in their ballpark, it might be right now. The Twins are 12-20, but have only played 10 games at home, where they are 4-6. Gee, whiz---22 of your first 32 games on the road? Not that MMM is shedding any tears for the Twinkies.

Then the Royals come calling over the weekend, having fallen (kinda) back to Earth. KC is 18-16 and in second place. So the Tigers might be in a position to leap frog them this weekend, pending the results of the games earlier in the week.

That's all for this week's MMM. See you next week!



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