I don't know how it was where you work and live, but in my business around town today, it sure looked like a lot of people had already checked out for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Should we include the Detroit Tigers in that group?
The Tigers' lineup appeared to already be on the plane to Minneapolis, thinking about what they'd do on their off-day, mustering just five hits against Dallas Braden. (This is the same Dallas Braden, by the way, whom the Tigers bombed for six runs and nine hits back in May.) The top four hitters in the Detroit batting order - Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco, Miguel Cabrera, and Marcus Thames - went a combined 1-for-14.
Look, we're fans of Adam Everett here at BYB HQ (and think he could be back next year), but when he's the Tigers' leading hitter for the day, going 2-for-3 at the plate, it probably wasn't a big day for the offense.
But Justin Verlander shouldn't be given a pass, either. He gave up four runs and six hits to an A's lineup that hasn't exactly been smoking the ball. And on some days, a strong effort by the Tigers' offense might bail him out. But let's consider that Verlander served up home runs to Jason Giambi and Jack Cust today. At face value, that might not seem so bad. Those are Oakland's big boppers, right?
Well... Giambi came into today's game batting .197/.339/.366. Cust had been pushed down to the seventh or eighth spot in the A's batting order. Yet both of them hit two-run homers off Verlander this afternoon. And that was pretty much the difference in the ballgame. Cust's gave Oakland a lead it never surrendered, and Giambi's just piled on from there.
At this point, do we just have to accept that the Tigers' offense runs hot and cold? (They've scored one run in each of their last three losses.) Are they just a bad road team right now? (20-23 overall isn't terrible, but they've lost eight of their last 12.) Neither question bodes well for the Tigers as they travel to Minnesota with just a three-game lead over the Twins.
Marcus Thames looked like the ideal man for the cleanup spot when he hit two home runs against the Brewers on June 19. Since then, however, he hasn't hit another homer in his last 10 games, driving in only one run during that span. And his batting average has plummeted 40 points to .256, and his slugging percentage has dropped nearly 200 points. Have the Tigers already gotten the best out of him? Or is he just in a cold streak?
Comment of the Day:
not make it worse