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5/24/12 10:03 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers get swept, losing 2-1 to close out the series in Cleveland.
5/26/12 2:34 AM
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The Pete
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 Tigers finally pull out a win, beating Minnesota 10-6.
5/26/12 7:26 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers pull out another win in Minnesota, 6-3!
5/27/12 11:36 PM
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The Pete
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 Late homer today by Miggy gets the Tigers the sweep in Minnesota, winning 4-3.
5/28/12 7:11 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers drop game to Boston, 7-4.
5/30/12 1:56 AM
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The Pete
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 Tigers drop game two to Boston, 6-3.
5/31/12 1:10 AM
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The Pete
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 Tigers lose yet another close game in Boston, 6-4.  Series finale tomorrow.
5/31/12 11:04 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers finally scrape together a win, beating Boston 7-3 to avoid a sweep.
6/1/12 11:52 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers drop game 1 to Yankees, 9-4.
6/2/12 11:27 PM
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The Pete
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 Well, Valverde blows another save but the Tigers come back to win in the bottom of the 9th, beating the Yankees 4-3!
6/3/12 4:01 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers fall to Yankees, 5-1, dropping to 25-29 1/3 of the season gone.
6/3/12 7:31 PM
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The Pete
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 The Pete - With the boys heading to Lakeland soon, I figured it's time to start another thread about my favorite team in the world.  Hopefully this season will end up at least as well as last year's.


So, what's new?  Prince Fielder signed to play 1B, Miggy moving back to 3B, shedding some unwanted contracts (Carlos Guillen, Mags?), and some middle-relief help (Octavio Dotel).

Leadoff bat, defense and speed will still be questions, but the bats should keep them going throughout the season.

Expectations are certainly higher than last year with a lot of the team coming off of career years.  Hopefully they can continue on the winning path!

Projected starters/bench/pitchers:

C - Alex Avila (arguably top-5 C in MLB)
1B - Prince Fielder (dynamic slugger, lefty bat)
2B - Ryan Raburn/Danny Worth (platoon)
3B - Miguel Cabrera (in better shape, could be a career year)
SS - Jhonny Peralta (had a career year in 2011)
LF - Delmon Young (straight ball hit very much, curveball bats are afraid)
CF - Austin Jackson (great speed but doesn't utilize it, strikes out a ton)
RF - Brennan Boesch (having a great 2011 until hurt, good lefty power)
DH - Probably rotate bench guys to the field to give players like Prince, Miggy, and Delmon a day off of defense

Bench:
Gerald Laird - C - Could be worse
Don Kelly - IF/OF - Plays anywhere, lefty, one of Leyland's favorites
Ramon Santiago - IF - Solid veteran
Andy Dirks - OF - Lefty, youth, some speed and power

Rotation:
Justin Verlander (Cy Young & MVP season, hope there's no letdown)
Doug Fister (great trade pickup, had a great postseason)
Max Scherzer (solid #3 starter)
Rick Porcello (bounce-back year?)
Jacob Turner/Andrew Oliver (who knows?)

Middle Relief:
Joaquin Benoit (rebounded from bad start, solid year)
Al Alburquerque (great rookie season, hurt?)
Octavio Dotel (solid veteran)
Phil Coke (glad he's not still starting)
Daniel Schlereth (another lefty)
Duane Below/David Pauley (innings)

Closer:
Jose Valverde (shouldn't pitch except when closing, will he keep streak alive?)

Again, expectations are very high and there could be an issue with the back-end of the rotation, but this club
 should win at least 90+ games unless they completely shit the bed.

Well, after the first trimester of the season, the club stands at 25-29, 6 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.  Clearly behind where they should be.

Let's review the bats (Avg. / HR / RBI - notes):

  C - Alex Avila: .254 / 5 / 20 - If he picks up his hitting the power will come as well
1B - Prince Fielder: .319 / 9  / 35 - Hoping for more power for the price
2B - Ryan Raburn/Danny Worth: Combined .155 / 1 / 9 - A black hole
3B - Miguel Cabrera: .318 / 11 / 44 - Steady as she goes
SS - Jhonny Peralta: .247 / 4 / 16 - Not the kind of year you want when playing for a new contract
LF - Delmon Young: .267 / 4 / 19 - Ditto
CF - Austin Jackson: .331 / 5 /  17 - Having a great year before going on the DL, K's < 1/game
RF - Brennan Boesch: .229 / 5 / 19 - Needs to get hot or he'll lose his spot to Andy Dirks
DH - Mainly been Delmon, with Andy Dirks playing LF: .328 / 4 / 16 - Also now on the DL.

The bench hasn't been very good either, with only Quentin Berry (.333 / 0 / 4 / 6 SB) and Gerald Laird (.313 / 2 / 4) hitting over .198.  I know Leyland loves Santiago and Kelly for their diversity, but they aren't hitting their respective weights.  They need help badly at 2B, and have ever since Placido Polanco left.  The hitting has, overall, been solid (top-10 MLB), but the defense is lacking (bottom half of MLB).

Rotation (W-L / ERA - notes):
Justin Verlander: 5-4 / 2.67 - Started 5-1, lost last three starts, gives up too many home runs
Doug Fister: 0-3 / 3.15 - Hurt most of the year, now back on the DL
Max Scherzer: 5-3 / 5.55 - Been looking better lately, but ERA still way too high
Rick Porcello: 3-4 / 4.86 - Meh
Jacob Turner/Andrew Oliver: Neither have pitched, but Drew Smyly (2-1 / 3.46) has been good.

Middle Relief (ERA / IP - notes:
Joaquin Benoit: 2.78 / 22.2 - Solid
Al Alburquerque: Off-season surgery, been on DL all season
Octavio Dotel: 4.42 / 18.1 - Hasn't been the quality veteran they were hoping for
Phil Coke: 4.15 / 21.2 - Too much of a wild card
Daniel Schlereth: 10.29 / 7 - Enjoy the minor leagues
Duane Below/David Pauley - Below: 2.63 / 24 - Good lefty / Pauley released before the season started

Closer (SV/OP / ERA):
Jose Valverde: 9/12 / 4.64 - I think he's buying too much into his own hype, a cardiac closer if there ever was one.

Other bullpen options haven't been good, with only Brayan Villareal (0.82 / 11 IP) and Luis Marte (1.35 / 6.2 IP) under 6.50 ERA.

The pitching, overall, is in the bottom 3rd of the MLB, not where it needs to be for a contending team.  Maybe they just need to get healthy and get the rotation back in order or maybe they need to make a change in pitching coach again.  It helped last time.

Thanks for tuning in!

6/5/12 11:48 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers drop game 1 to Cleveland, 4-2.
6/6/12 11:40 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers rally, but not enough, falling to Tribe 9-6.
6/7/12 9:35 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers avoid the sweep, beating Cleveland 7-5.
6/10/12 11:43 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers rally to beat the Reds, 7-6.  Loss on Friday, 6-5, win on Saturday 3-2.
6/10/12 11:48 PM
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Darup
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They won a series. Hopefully they can build on that. Phone Post
6/13/12 12:07 AM
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The Pete
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 Tigers drop close game to Cubbies, losing 4-3.
6/13/12 11:37 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers rally late to beat the Cubs, 8-4.
6/15/12 2:14 AM
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The Pete
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 Tigers take down the Cubs, 5-3.
6/16/12 3:01 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers give up 8 in the top of the 10th to get blown out by the Rockies, 12-4.  I wonder if Leyland will ever realize you never pitch Valverde in non-save situations.
6/16/12 7:18 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers recover from Friday night to win 4-1 over the Rockies.
6/17/12 8:16 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers wrap up the weekend beating Colorado 5-0.
6/19/12 11:10 PM
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The Pete
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 Your Detroit Tigers win the first game of the series against St. Louis, 6-3.  First time they've won a series opener since 5/25.
6/20/12 9:39 PM
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The Pete
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 Tigers can't muster any offense, losing 3-1 to the Cards.

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