Detroit Tigers Links: Justin Verlander Has Been Good, Phil Coke Has Been Bad

August 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Phil Coke (40) pitches during the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

AL Central Standings

Chicago 72 57 .558 0 Won 1
Detroit 69 60 .534 3 Lost 2
Kansas City 58 71 .449 14 Won 2
Cleveland 55 75 .423 17.5 Lost 4
Minnesota 53 77 .407 19.5 Won 1

(updated 8.30.2012 at 12:10 AM EDT)

Justin Verlander has been pitching well lately (other than Tuesday, that is), Phil Coke hasn't been pitching well lately (including Tuesday), and Bryce Harper homers twice against the Miami Marlins. These stories and only like 3 others (because I'm tired and lazy) in today's Morning Prowl.

Tigers' Justin Verlander has been pitching well, just not winning - The Detroit News, Tom Gage
"He was far from effective Tuesday night in the Tigers' 9-8 loss at Kansas City. But he had been pitching well — and still not winning."

Detroit Tigers' Jim Leyland on left-handed reliever Phil Coke: 'He's got to do better' - MLive, Chris Iott
"Coke allowed just four inherited runners to score in the first four months of the season. But in nine outings in August, five of the eight runners Coke has inherited have scored."

The Offensive Corner Defense Of The Detroit Tigers - Baseball Nation, Grant Brisbee
"The whole point of moving Cabrera was to stack the lineups with as many bats as possible, and when Victor Martinez is healthy, there will be a reason for Cabrera at third. And with Omar Infante signed through next season, the offseason priority is probably going to be a corner outfielder, possibly one with a modicum of range."

Tigers' Tom Brookens to miss next two games - Detroit Free Press, James Jahnke
Clearly, this is what is wrong with the team. It all makes sense now.

Around the AL Central:

White Sox 8, Orioles 1; Axelrod comes up big - South Side Sox
Ah, run support. Must be nice.

Chen Out Duels Sanchez, Royals Win 1-0 - Royals Review, Jeff Zimmermann
Check the comment section for a .gif of Mike Moustakas colliding with Prince Fielder and living to tell the tale.

Joe Mauer Not so Freely Available - FanGraphs Baseball, Jeff Sullivan
I argued against it the other day, but Mauer's deal might actually be the worst contract in baseball.

Elsewhere in Baseball:

Harper goes yard twice against the Marlins - Video
Wow, that second one went far.

Ranking Chipper Jones’ retirement gifts so far - Big League Stew, Kevin Kaduk
Not pictured: a Popeyes gift card and six-pack of Samuel Adams from the Boston Red Sox.

How much would I pay Josh Hamilton? - The Hardball Times, Glenn DuPaul
"Well, pitchers stopped throwing Hamilton strikes and his numbers plummeted. His wRC+ in June was below average (92), and Jeff Mathis would laugh at his July wRC+ (49)."

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