The most unheralded and least talked about first place team in Major League Baseball is the Detroit Tigers. It’s their own fault really. They were supposed to be a juggernaut and smash the Cardinals in the 2006 World Series, but their pitching rotation let them down and the upset occurred. After their defeat, the Tigers faded into the abyss with a series underperformances from Dontrelle Willis, Edgar Renteria, Justin Verlander, Gary Sheffield, Joel Zumaya, Jeremy Bonderman and even from All World Player Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers were caught in a funk and could not overcome the White Sox, Twins and/or Indians since their 2006 Season came to a crashing halt. But this year, has been different.
There is a new scent in the air of Detroit around Comerica Park and it has to do with winning. Since Detroit has been in such an upheaval since the automotive industry tanked, one of the countries greatest sports cities has been overshadowed by big business. The Pistons and Red Wings have been able to be on the radar through these tough economic times because they have been able to make the playoffs consistently, whereas the Tigers have been a mirage. As the 2009 Season rolls closer to October, the oasis of the post season may very well be a reality for Detroit baseball this year and it has all started with pitching. Justin Verlander is back to being an ace that made him so promising as the Rookie of The Year in 2006, and it has set the tone for the rest of the staff. Edwin Jackson has finally reached his potential, Rookie Rick Porcello has bloomed before our very eyes and Armando Galarraga has pitched better as of late after a tremendous 08′ campaign and a rocky start to the 09′ campaign. Before the whistle blew, signaling the trading deadline, a tremendous acquisition was made to bolster the already stellar rotation. With the addition of Jarrod Washburn, the Tigers have added depth, talent and playoff experience to a nucleus of pitchers that needed just a little bit more seasoning to be taken seriously. The White Sox have added Jake Peavy to the arms race today so the AL Central just got a bit more exciting.
Hopefully for the Tigers, their big bats Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Brandon Inge and Marcus Thames can help bring the thunder and make the Tigers a force to be reckoned with come this October.
Regardless, it’s going to be an exciting two months until October!
Be well junkies,