Thursday, August 4, 2011
This Tigers Team Looks Like AL Central Champs
Detroit learned that their two trade deadline acquisitions are going to perform well for them down the stretch. David Pauley came out of the bullpen and pitched well for the Tigers in the game on Tuesday night. And newly acquired starter Doug Fister benefited from having run support and was able to convert his first start in the "Old English D" into a win.
In competing against another division contender in Texas, Detroit is proving that they are able to hold their own against quality opponents and are showing no signs of declining. And with the addition of Fister to the starting rotation the Tigers have found the pitcher that will put them over the top in the AL Central.
Coming into his first start for Detroit, Fister had the second-lowest ERA on the staff, essentially making him the Tigers second starter. As long as the Tigers are able to play good defense behind him Fister will continue to impress on the mound. He will also be able to teach Rick Porcello a thing or two, both pitchers are ground ball pitchers who pitch to contact.
Alex Avila appears to be coming out of his slump so far in August; he had no RBI in July and only 10 total bases. As of August 3rd, Avila had two home runs, five RBI and 14 total bases. Despite his July slump Avila was able to keep his batting average around the .270 mark and it is already on the rebound.
With Magglio Ordonez continuing to play well the Tigers boast one of the best team batting average's in the entire league. Second hitter Brennan Boesch is hitting .296 with 16 home runs, 52 RBI and a .352 OBP. While the lead off hitter position is fluctuating between Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks and Boesch is on a tear, the bases usually have runners on when the Tigers big hitters come up to the plate.
The Tigers 4-5-6 hitters are some of the most fearsome in the league with Miguel Cabrera batting .314, Victor Martinez batting .317 and Jhonny Peralta hitting .317. These batters have proven time and time again that they are the heart of the team and have maintained their batting averages around the .300 mark all season.
Detroit is leading Cleveland, who despite the addition of Ubaldo Jimenez still have no hitting, and with their major players all clicking right now, the Tigers should finally run away with the division down the stretch.