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Monday Morning Thoughts: Consistently inconsistent strikes again


The Hometown Nine didn't do so well when they hit the road last week. From unbeatable to unbelievably bad in a matter of days, here's the week that wasn't.

Offense stalls, pitching falters, team loses. It was easy to pinpoint what made the Tigers successful during the span of games in which they won 13 of 15: They were averaging 5.66 runs per game, while allowing 3.53. While losing four out of five to the Indians and Blue Jays, they scored less than half as many runs (2.8 per game) while giving up 4.6. Worse hitting, worse pitching, worse record. Lucky they won any games, really. It would be unrealistic to expect the Tigers to keep producing at the 5.6 level, of course. The top offense in baseball -- Toronto's -- averages just 5.01 per game. The Tigers were never going to score 900 runs for the season, no matter what the experts told you

Everyone in the lineup is due some blame: On one hand, at least runners were on the bases. On the other, many batters weren't doing their jobs to get them across home plate.

Here's the LOBster Leaderboard for Detroit's six games in Toronto and Cleveland.

Miguel Cabrera 14
Brennan Boesch 13
Jhonny Peralta 11
Delmon Young: 10
Quintin Berry 10
Prince Fielder 6
Omar Infante 6
Alex Avila 5
Austin Jackson 5
Ramon Santiago 1
Don Kelly 1

While it would be convenient to put the blame on the fifth through ninth spots in the batting order, don't let the rest off the hook. Yes, Delmon Young, Brennan Boesch and Jhonny Peralta were pretty awful, for the most part. But Miguel Cabrera didn't exactly have a stellar week either, stranding 14. No. 2 in the order, Quintin Berry, left 10, including five in one game.

Consistently inconsistent. Oh Boesch, why do you tease? Oh Young, why do you do just enough to keep your job but not a penny more? Every time we think Boesch or Young have hit a wall, they rebound with a couple of games that tantalize, or at least, cause a few people to put on blinders. Boesch had been on fire, at last, then he started the road trip 1-for-16. He finished it 2-for-7. Young actually had a hit in five of the six games, yet still managed to finish near the top of the LOBster rankings. Peralta was 0-for-13 before hitting two home runs on Sunday. How perfectly frustrating, never knowing when you're going to get production from the trio. What happens in many games is that if Cabrera or Fielder have an off day -- and they're allowed to be less than perfect -- there's no one there to pick them up.

I'd be swearing like a drunken sailor, too, if I were Leyland.

Gut feeling: The Tigers are done trading before the deadline. I really feel like the Tigers won't make a move before the July 31 trading deadline. I could be wrong. In fact, I wouldn't really be surprised if I was wrong. You can even remind me of it later, I promise. But I just don't feel like they're going to make another move before Tuesday.

Those who've played along with us before know that the July 31 trading deadline in baseball doesn't mean trading season is completed. It just means that general managers have to use a few more tricks to get things done. (Maybe this should be a post, but I really feel like MLB trading rules are pretty stupid.)

So while I do think the Tigers won't make a trade before July 31, I am pretty certain they will make one before Aug. 31. You know what they need. Corner outfielder. DH. Whatever. But it would make sense to get more information about the future of Andy Dirks before making any commitments in the outfield, and trading for a DH after July 31 wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world for them to do, either. Something will happen, it just doesn't have to happen right now.