Wed 16 Sep 2009
A full baseball season can be broken into Nine 18-game segments. I have termed these 18-game segments as an “inning” of a season. In the past I have provided analysis of each “inning” at www.detroittigersweblog.com. For 2009, I am going to post the analysis on my own blog www.samhoff.com.
Let’s compare the first eight innings of 2009:
W-L RS –RA HR-SB-AVG/OBA/SLG W-L- IP- ERA W-L-S-ERA
1st: 10-8 102-84 21-12-276/349/432 7-6-103.1-4.62 3-2-4-3.96
2nd: 10-8 99-86 20- 6-265/342/436 8-5-104.0-3.63 2-3-3-5.68
3rd: 9-9 67-65 14-13-252/317/370 9-8-114.1-3.23 0-1-5-4.23
4th: 12-6 85-84 29- 8-259/335/459 6-5- 97.2-4.98 6-1-6-4.08
5th: 7-11 70-76 23- 7-234/307/403 5-7-108.1-3.90 2-4-3-3.66
6th: 10-8 82-86 16- 7-268/338/412 6-6-113.2-4.75 4-2-5-3.44
7th: 9-9 74-85 25- 9-250/321/423 5-5-104.0-4.76 4-4-6-4.39
8th: 10-8 85-92 19- 7-267/355/425 7-5-101.1-4.88 3-3-6-5.28
The 10-8 eighth inning featured a 6-game winning streak immediately followed by a 5-game losing streak. Half of the defeats were to the worst team in the AL, KC, who outscored the Tigers 30-11. Overall, the Tigers were outscored by their opponents by 7 runs; marking the 4th inning in a row they were outscored. The good news is that the Twins were an identical 10-8 during the inning, while the White Sox were 9-9. Therefore the Tigers 4.5 game lead going into the 9th inning is the exact same that it was when the inning started on 8/27.
Starting Pitching: The Tigers starting pitching overall had a pedestrian 4.88 era. Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello were both very effective and Edwin Jackson battled to win 2 of his 3 starts. At this point, the 4th starter is a crap shoot. Nate Robertson had two very nice starts, and then on 9/11 gave up 6 hits and 5 walks in 3.2 innings before leaving with a groin injury. Washburn has been horrible while battling a knee injury which may keep him out for the season. Galarraga has elbow problems and pitched like he was pouring gasoline on a fire. The Tigers are so desperate for a 4th starter that Eddie Bonine is starting in the first game of the 9th inning. Bonine is 28 years old with a career 4.52 minor league ERA. He has been hit at the major league level for 341/378/564. A Tigers starter for the upcoming Sunday game in Minnesota has yet to be determined.
|Rick Porcello||4||24 2/3||3||0||12||3.28||1.01|
|Nate Robertson||3||13 2/3||0||2||8||1.98||1.61|
|Jarrod Washburn||3||11 2/3||0||2||5||11.57||2.31|
|A Galarraga||1||2 1/3||0||0||1||23.14||3.00|
Bullpen: The bullpen had some very rough outings in the last inning and overall put up a very high ERA (5.28). Brandon Lyon was very effective and Zach Miner pitched well in 6 of his 7 appearances. Ni and Seay gave the Tigers a nice 1-2 lefty combination. Ryan Perry gave up a ton of base runners and looks to be hitting a wall. Fernando Rodney gave up multiple earned runs in 3 of 9 appearances. The Tigers must get Rodney back on track as making Lyon the closer leaves a big hole at setup.
|Zach Miner||7||11 1/3||1||1||0||5||3.18||1.32|
|Eddie Bonine||2||3 2/3||0||0||0||2||2.45||0.82|
|Bobby Seay||7||5 1/3||2||1||0||5||6.75||1.13|
|Ryan Keith Perry||7||8 1/3||0||0||0||5||5.40||1.80|
|F Rodney||9||7 2/3||0||1||4||6||8.22||2.22|
|Casey Fien||2||3 1/3||0||0||0||0||10.80||1.80|
|A Galarraga||1||2 1/3||0||0||0||3||11.57||1.71|
Offense: The offense had a pretty good performance as their 355 OBP was the best of the year. Carlos Guillen has quietly has been getting on base at a nice clip and his 3 HRs in the inning tied for the team lead. Guillen’s LF platoon partner, Ryan Raburn has also been hot. Magglio Ordonez continues to hit for average and has now had enough plate appearances to kick in his $18m option for 2010, but is not driving in runs (2) and only had 2 extra base hits (both doubles). Polanco tied for the team lead in HRs in the 8th and came up with some nice clutch hits. Speaking of clutch hits, Huff’s 3-run HR in the bottom of the 9th inning on 9/14 will definitely make the season highlight DVD. Miguel Cabrera and Curtis Granderson are both in mini slumps while Brandon Inge is mired in a severe second half slump. Laird is in the game for defensive purposes only, while Avila has really provided a nice stick as the backup catcher. Santiago and Everett continue to perform at career expectations. Clete Thomas is having a nice sophomore season, while Wilkin Ramirez is giving us a brief glimpse why he may be a serious component of the 2010 Tigers.
Despite getting spanked by the mighty Royals, the Tigers held serve in the 8th inning by maintaining a 4.5 game lead on their competition. The Twins, Tigers, and White Sox have 52 combined games left, 32 of which are against each other including the Tigers playing 13 games against their closest pursuers. Minnesota has lost Morneau for the year, and the White Sox have traded valuable pieces away but the race is FAR from over as The Tigers only have 3 starting pitchers left.
In looking at the schedule, the Tigers could get 4 more starts a piece from Verlander, Jackson, and Porcello if needed. If the Tigers can go 9-9 the rest of the way, the Twins would have to go 13-4 or the White Sox 14-3 in order to create a tie. I am hoping that when I write the 9th inning summary, I am talking about the 4th starter for the Yankee Series instead of doing a post mortem on the Tiger’s collapse.