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If They Can't Score There, Can They Score Anywhere? Yankees 2, Tigers 1

For the last line of yesterday's recap, I wrote "It's the same song the Tigers have been playing most of this season, and it's getting tiring to listen to." Yet here we were, listening to it yet again. And if the song was tiresome yesterday, it felt infuriating today.

A major league starting pitcher should be allowed to give up just two runs and still have a reasonable chance to win a ballgame. Yet in the last two games, the Tigers' top two starters have been jilted by their lineup. Justin Verlander allowed two tough-luck runs yesterday, but that was just enough offense for the Yankees to beat him. Today, Edwin Jackson wasn't great, tying a season-high with five walks, and he served up two deep home runs. But both of them were solo shots and shouldn't have been enough to win.

But when the Tigers could only muster one run themselves, on a Clete Thomas homer, the opposing lineup only has to do so much. Should we detail the squandering again?

  • In the first inning, Detroit had two runners on with one out, but Marcus Thames hit a shallow pop-up (the Tigers' signature play of the weekend) and Thomas struck out.
  • Curtis Granderson hit a one-out triple in the fifth, but Miguel Cabrera popped out to shallow right field and Thames chased a high fastball for strike three.

The Tigers managed only four hits today. How many teams are going to win doing that? In the three games this weekend, they scored only five runs. Sure, the Yankees had their two best starting pitchers going, but so did the Tigers. They deserved far better than the paltry support their lineup provided.

And somehow, Joba Chamberlain looks better against Detroit than against any other team. In two starts versus the Tigers this season, he's given up two runs and six hits, and thrown 14 strikeouts in 13.2 innings. If he got to face Detroit more often, there wouldn't be any argument over whether he should be in the starting rotation or bullpen.

At the risk of stating the obvious, this team really is in need of some help. Luke French, Verlander, and Jackson allowed just five runs between them this weekend. Against the Yankees. At Yankee Stadium. And if the Tigers got any kind of offense, they could've won two of three games. Some fantastic starting pitching is being wasted. And something should be done about it.

Comment of the Day:

The Official Hymn of the Tigers 2009 Season

We love to go asquandering
It’s been this year’s disgrace
No matter who is at the plate
We’re always left on base

Tigerreeee Tigerrrah
Tigereeeee Tiger hahahahaha
Tigereeeee Tigerrahhhh
We’ll soon be in third place.

by NCDee

And there was another hymn later on. I also liked this comment, which typified many of our feelings, I think.