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Tigers offense "effective"? Ha! Indians 3, Tigers 2

Final - 6.1.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland Indians 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 3 9 2
Detroit Tigers 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 0
WP: Jake Westbrook (3 - 3)
SV: Kerry Wood (3)
LP: Jeremy Bonderman (2 - 3)

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Allow me to sum the game up briefly:

Same Shit. Different Day.

Jeremy Bonderman pitched into the eighth inning, allowing a handful of runs in the process. Unfortunately again it was the second run that would receive credit for being "game-winner."

The Tigers can't score runs. The pitcher loses another tough-luck loss.


It's not often I call a writer out for bad ideas. But today's game happened to be very bad timing for the Detroit News' columnist Bob Wojnowski. He wrote:

Left-handed starter Cliff Lee is the one I'd pursue, now that the Mariners might shop the former Cy Young winner. I know, I know. What fans desperately crave is a hitter, underscored by the Tigers' current slump, seven losses in nine games. It was capped by a 4-1 loss to the Athletics Monday, when Justin Verlander was good, but not quite good enough.


Of course, if the Tigers hit a bit more, they'd feel better too. But believe it or not, they score enough runs, and rank high enough in most categories to be effective.

"We've been in a little bit of a funk, as teams do," Leyland said. "We're a good-hitting club. We just haven't been doing too much lately, that's an understatement."

And as the games pile up, so do the trends. For the Tigers, the market leading to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline will be important, and they can't keep taxing their fine bullpen with suspect pitching starts.

Crazy talk.

Crazy talk, I say.

Crazy talk.

He cites the rotation's ERA as a problem. Well, the rotation was a problem in the past, all right. Again, they failed to show up in the month of April. After Max Scherzer's 14-strikeout performance, manager Jim Leyland wondered if the spring training regiment was failing his pitchers. That's certainly a question worth pursuing for the team, because the starters were all but terrible in April. In May, most of them improved. Well, not Dontrelle Willis, but he's Arizona's problem now.

Going forward, I have a lot more faith the rotation is fine. And the bullpen continues to be fine.

No, the Tigers don't need to throw away the farm for Cliff Lee in order to continue losing games by failing to score runs.

Oh, wait. Wojo said the Tigers score enough runs? They lead Chicago, Oakland, Cleveland, Baltimore and Seattle in run-scoring. They trail the Royals.


And most of that run scoring of Detroit's came in a burst of insanity that was assisted by leadoff batter Austin Jackson hitting a completely unsustainable .500+ BABIP for the first five weeks of the season. It's since been assisted by an unsustainable start by Brennan Boesch.

We knew this team would struggle to score runs. It briefly fooled those of us who didn't look a bit deeper into the stats to say if the start was sustainable or not.

No, Detroit isn't quite as bad at plating runs as it has shown the past two weeks or so. Johnny Damon should improve. Magglio Ordonez ought to pull out of a bit of a slump. It's going to take a little more help than that for Miguel Cabrera, who can't account for all the runs himself.

But I have to be honest with you: This isn't the Tigers' year.

It's just not.

They're good enough for second place. I've said all along and I'll say it again: it's going to take a big assist from the Twins for Detroit to win the division.

Any move the team makes to improve in 2010 must be made with an eye to winning the division in 2011. That is a much more attainable goal. Lee is not going to help with that cause. Find someone for the left side of the infield or the corner outfield to help fill those holes present now and in the future, and then you're on to something.

Otherwise it's just wasted effort.

Much like Bonderman's fabulous start tonight.