It's amazing how a couple of wins can change the mood about a team. After Friday night's collapse, I think everyone indulged in some outrage and (justified) overreaction. But after winning the final two games of the series - both by convincing margins - I feel much better about the Tigers' chances in the AL Central race.
Even if they'd gotten swept, of course, there wouldn't have been reason to panic. Not with 2/3 of the season left to play. But before the season began, I said that I wasn't a believer in Cleveland because of their starting pitching.
Now obviously, the Indians are a very good team and will probably be fighting the Tigers for first place all season. And guys like Jeremy Sowers and Cliff Lee might figure out what they're doing wrong and turn things around. Or Mark Shapiro could make a deal to strengthen the rotation. But I think we saw just how vulnerable the Tribe's pitching can be to a good offense. And there are plenty of strong lineups around the American League that could give them a pounding.
At the risk of sounding cocky (and I know I can get that way when I think highly of my favorite teams), I think the Tigers stand a better chance of recovering from their pitching woes - between getting players back from injury or calling up help from the minors - than the Indians do. Though if Adam Miller's finger injury heals up nicely and Shapiro can score a deal for a middle reliever or close, I might have to backtrack from that statement.
Are you sharing in my optimism or are you still skittish until the bullpen proves it's gotten back on track?