What has been the Detroit Tigers’ biggest problem this year? It’s hard to pinpoint it exactly, but I’d say it’s consistency.
The team has not been living up to all of the World Series hype, so far. The offense has not been as good as expected, but even when the offense has shown up, the pitching has been suspect. The defense, while Miguel Cabrera has been much better than advertised, has been pretty shaky as well. They have not been having awful games, besides the trainwreck of a game against the Minnesota Twins where each infielder made an error, but they just seem to make little mistakes here and there that end up killing them. Fundamental mistakes. One blown double play, a bobbled ball in the outfield, a dropped ball at first base, have all gone on to be very harmful for Detroit. Even when the team was getting quality starts from the pitching staff, they were getting ruined by a quiet offense, or getting blown by the bullpen.
The bottom line is, the Tigers have not been very good and they have still not gone off on a nice run. They have not won back-to-back games since they did it on April 17 and 18, that is the definition of inconsistency. The Tigers have the tools to be successful, and the team is by far the most talented in the Central Division. It is still very early and their position could be a lot worse, they are only 4 games back of the Cleveland Indians, whom they will be facing again tonight and tomorrow afternoon.
I don’t think it is time to panic yet, but things are a little bit scary right now for the Tigers. Remember last year, how the Chicago White Sox kept hanging around? They “hung around” for almost the entire season without ever going on a serious charge. All the experts could talk about is how when this team figures it out, they will be great. Well, they never did figure it out, and they finished 16 games out of first place. Now I know that the Tigers are much more talented than last year’s White Sox, but the same idea still applies. You can have all the ability in the world, but if you never perform, that ability means nothing. And each game counts. Yes it is still early, but you have to figure it out sooner than later.
The fact is, anything less than a World Championship is failure for this team. They didn’t hand out 214+ million dollars this offseason to do what they are doing now. Expectations are high, but there is no reason why the Tigers can’t live up to those expectations.
James Nahikian blogs about the industry of sports. And specializes in articles about the Detroit Tigers, Major League Baseball and Bowling Green State University Athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org And follow him on twitter @KingNahikian or facebook where you can find links to his articles and updates about future posts.