Once again, this 2009 Detroit Tigers season has become a roller coaster.
Just as this team starts to look like it's coming together, with all sorts of different ways to beat the opposition, it reminds us that it's far from a perfect team. Just as we start to believe that this team might actually be capable of doing something in the playoffs, beating last year's AL champs with authority, it gets swept by the last place team in its division.
Who are these guys?
Was the three-game sweep last weekend in Tampa - the one with great pitching, timely hitting, and rousing comebacks - a fleeting moment of greatness? Are these 2009 Tigers really just the same team they've been all season? The one that hits into double plays and squanders scoring opportunities? Whose middle relief leaks gasoline all over the pitching mound?
Maybe the Tigers used up all its good road trip juju in Tampa and was due for a correction in Kansas City. And maybe all will seem well again with seven upcoming games at Comerica Park (including a chance to exact some revenge against the Royals next week).
But a series like this - a result like this - shakes the faith. And for many, it wasn't that exactly that deep to begin with.
Zach Miner has kind of been a man without a role all season. Is he better as a starter? A reliever? Is he better in late innings or in middle relief? Maybe we can scratch middle relief from the list. Miner was handed a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning, and pretty much blew it right away.
Alex Gordon hit a leadoff homer, and the next two batters reached base on a walk (How can this team walk Yuniesky Betancourt so often?) and a bunt single. That led to another RBI for Billy Butler, who's rediscovered his inner Tigers Killer after taking a season off.
I've been kind of hard on Marcus Thames for his lack of contributions over the past couple of months. But if there's a bright side to this series, maybe it's that Thames found his bat again. Could a 3-for-5 series with two RBIs be a revival?
Comment of the Day:
although, it could just be the allergies
And just for a laugh (or a wince), check out the recap headline at Royals Review.