What’s Up With The Tigers?

I know we’ve got all we can handle, as Twins fans, to keep focused on what our guys are doing from day to day. After all, in just this one past series with the Dodgers, the Twins managed to win a game 1-0 and lose a game 15-0.

But as bad as that 15-0 thumping on Monday was, did anyone notice what happened to the Tigers the following two days? I don’t know if Gardy’s buddy Jim Leyland was just feeling so bad for the Twins manager that he decided to do something to make his friend feel better, but whatever the cause, his Tigers actually have had a worse week than Gardy’s Twins.

On Tuesday, Tiger relief pitcher Daniel Schlereth gave up not one, but TWO grand slam home runs in his team’s 14-3 loss. Said Schlereth, “With right-handers, I’m struggling.” See, and we thought Jose Mijares was having a tough stretch! Then again, at least Schlereth didn’t try to publicly blame his catcher.

True, that loss wasn’t as bad as the 15-0 debacle the Twins had on Monday, but the Tigers followed their trouncing up by losing to the Mets again on Wednesday, 16-9. In that game, the Tigers hit five home runs… and lost… by seven runs! Tiger utility player Don Kelly came in to pitch to get the final out of the game. Gardy may have had a tough time, but at least we didn’t see Matt Tolbert take to the mound.

Think the Twins have had a few pitching woes in the past week or so? Think about this… during their series with the Mets, the Tigers had not one… not two… not three… not four… but FIVE pitchers who saw their ERAs jump by more than half an earned run per nine innings! Here they are (courtesy of an interesting article on SBNation by Grant Brisbee)

Rick Porcello: before 4.50; after 5.06
Daniel Schlereth: before 2.96; after 4.91
Phil Coke: before 4.32; after 4.91
Al Alburquerque: before 1.95; after 2.79
David Purcey: before 0.77; after 3.58

Tiger reliever Ryan Perry managed to actually lower his ERA. He threw 3 2/3 innings and gave up 2 earned runs. That dropped his ERA from 9.95 to 9.00.

Tiger starter Phil Coke was so bad that he’s being relegated to the bullpen and replaced in the rotation by a guy named Charlie Furbush. (Insert your own tasteless comment here.) 

So what’s my point? I’m not sure I really have one, other than (a) to remind all of us that every team has a game or two where they flat out get bludgeoned and that we shouldn’t take that as any more of a sign of the apocolypse than we should assume a single great performance means we can line up for playoff tickets, and (b) it’s more fun to make fun of division opponents failures than it is to discuss the Twins’ problems.

– JC

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