Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Road Ahead

What a great series the Tigers –88/74– pulled off against the Yanks. The pitching and hitting the Tigers got was exactly what was needed to shut done the AL home run leaders in the ALCS. Delmon Young deserves the MVP honors with his clutch performances. Of course others contributed especially with the starting rotation: Verlander, Sherzer, Gonzales and Fester. Even though not clutch, Miguel Cabrerra and Jhonny Peralta certainly lit up the last game. The Tigers have all the pieces coming together at the same time. For a team that, at midseason, was under .500 this resurgence was somewhat unexpected.

As Rick and Will have mentioned, the Yanks did themselves no favors the entire series. They played the most flat baseball seen until this seventh game of the NLCS. The Yanks, with no run production, leaves you wondering if the Tiger pitching is so un-hittable or that if the Yanks had finally run the tank dry. Is A-Rod really going to be there in 2013? Who will take him? Will he retire gracefully? Oh, sorry, it’s A-Rod and everything is about him and his ego. He’ll make the Yankees pay it all one way or another.

The Cardinals –88/74– as just mentioned, fell flat too. The Cinderella Cardinals have truly lost the slipper. The pitching weakened and the bats were nowhere to be seen. The Giants are hot, really hot right now.

The Cards had no answer for them.

With the Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder for the Tigers and Panda Sandoval and Marcos Scutaro for the Giants, I think the Tigers can do better at the plate. In the Championship Series round of play-offs, the team Tigers had a BA of .291 and the team totals for the Giants were .261. For pitching, I like the WHIP better for looking ahead to see how things may come out in future games. The Tigers staff had a WHIP of .872 and Giants 1.066.
For starters, Justin Verlander had a WHIP of an unbelievable .360  and Ryan Vogelsong .786. This is all very close but the odds go to the Tigers for pitching.

As a Tigers fan –when not a Jays fan– I am worried about hitting and the strategy involving NL rules and the pitcher. This also brings up the bull pens. The Giants know how to use the NL rules. They have starting pitching that can hit a little when needed, just as Matt Cain did – .400 for the NLCS. The Tigers, not so much. The starting four have career BA’s of only .065, ugly. The Giants, while not good, is twice as good as that of the Tigers BA at .136.

The bullpen for both teams has not been bad at all. The Giants have a WHIP if 1.196 for the NLCS and the Tigers .828 for the ALCS. Okay, that’s if you eliminate Jose Valverde, who had a WHIP of 6.000. Jim Leyland will be hard pressed to slot him into a save situation with Phil Coke .529 and Drew Smyly at .429, both able to shoulder late inning responsibilities.

This World Series will be a series of pitching duels and I think the Tigers will just eek this one out. It will go the distance and be a great series. I hope it will be a classic!

1 comment:

Will Braund said...

The Tigers aren't off to a great start but a chance of venue may help. As for Jim Leyland knowing how and when to hit for his pitchers keep in mind he managed in the NL for thirteen years.