Time to turn it around
The Tigers have been on a downward spiral the last week, losing five of their last seven games. When Rick Porcello takes the mound tonight against the Red Sox, the Tigers need to find a way to get back to their winning ways.
Entering the game, the Tigers find themselves three games back of the first place Chicago White Sox. Although it’s by no means an insurmountable number, you don’t want to find yourself trailing by more than five games entering September. As long as they can keep pace with the White Sox, they should certainly find themselves fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
In an attempt to shake things up, the Tigers are now going to have Brennan Boesch hitting fifth in the lineup instead of Delmon Young. During the month of July, Boesch hit .295 with a .538 slugging percentage. By comparison, Young hit for a disappointing .250 average and a .417 slugging percentage during that same time. If Boesch can keep that production level during August, it should lead to more runs being scored.
If that doesn’t work, don’t be surprised if the Tigers attempt to make a move through waivers, similar to how they acquired Young last year. When you have Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the heart of your lineup, there’s no reason why the Tigers shouldn’t be scoring more runs. Of course you can’t put all of the blame on the lineup, as Detroit’s starting pitchers have also struggled in the last few weeks.
For the 2012 season, the Tigers rotation has struggled to show signs of consistency. In fact, the Tigers starting pitchers have an ERA of 4.19 on the year, which ranks them 21st in all of Major League Baseball.
Of course the hope is that acquiring Anibal Sanchez will help strengthen their rotation, but if the Tigers want to make it back to the playoffs, their starting pitchers have to do better. There’s still plenty of baseball left to be played, and plenty of time to turn it around.