I assume when Jim Leyland made changes to the Tigers' batting order, the intent was to generate more offense. Unless his idea was to try and get his team to score fewer runs(which would be curious strategy). If so, this thing is working out brilliantly after two games.
Now what? Can Leyland already reach for his holster again so soon after trying to six-shoot his lineup on Monday? How many bullets does he have left? At this point, what else can he do to wake this team up? When do these players just start playing better?
Once again, this vaunted lineup that had some people predicting a 1,000 run season played as if they were swinging french baguettes, rather than baseball bats. Tigers batters treated Tim Wakefield's knuckleball as if it came with butterfly wings and pixie dust. Detroit only managed two hits in eight innings against him. That's only two more hits than anybody reading this, by the way, and I don't think many of us had a bat in our hands tonight. (Though I'm sure plenty of you felt like taking the same swing at your television, radio, or computer that Manny Ramirez laid on Freddy Dolsi's very first pitch when you saw the home team's feeble totals.)
Nate Robertson was hardly good, giving up 10 hits and his usual four runs in 6 1/3 innings. And believe me, I'd love to argue that he puts his team behind far too often. But with the lack of fight that his lineup was showing against Wakefield, did it ever feel like Robertson really had a chance? Even if the scoreboard said the Tigers were still in the game?
Remember when we'd talk to fellow Tigers fans or think to ourselves during the winter that it wouldn't matter if some of the starting pitchers gave up four or five runs a game? These guys were going to score five or six runs every time out! That must have been the cabin fever talking. Right now, at this moment, that just seems like crazy talk.
Watching tonight's game was an exercise in aggravation, so those who showed up to discuss it certainly deserve some recognition.
Thanks to pfuhrmeister, BigAl, SonofGibby, rock n rye, miggy4mvp, Tony K, Zappatista, Germantiger, Matt in Toledo, russkiejedi, and bradm for typing in comments through clenched teeth and throbbing temples.