Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tigers Update

In general, I don't like interleague play. One reason is that the Tigers do not have a natural National League rival. I can understand the draw of Yankees-Mets, Dodgers-Angels, or even Marlins-(Devil) Rays. But the closest NL rival the Tigers have is the Reds. Not too awe inspiring.

But this time around the Tigers are playing teams from the NL West. They've been manhandling the Dodgers at Comerica (the benefit of this matchup is that I can catch the games on local radio and television), and then they come out west for games against the Giants and Padres. I'm trying to finagle a way to San Diego to watch one of the games. I've heard great things about Petco Park, but I wouldn't usually be interested in driving down there to see a random game. But the Tigers' series there changes the formula. We'll see what happens.

Before the season opened, I said the Tigers would either win it all or end up somewhere around third place. They've been playing really good baseball of late -- the kind that everyone expected them to play at the beginning of the season -- but will it be too little, too late? Currently, they are eight games back of the White Sox. Having seen the Tigers' play of late, I think they'll make up some ground and end the season over .500. But whether they catch the White Sox is mostly up to the White Sox. If the White Sox crash and burn, and if the Tigers' pitching holds up (which is a medium- to big-sized "if"), and if the Tigers' bats stay moderately hot (i.e., score an average of five runs a game), then they have a shot at least at the wild card (we also need the (Devil) Rays to peter out for the wild-card race).

In short, the hole the Tigers dug for themselves up to this point is too big for them to climb out of without help from other teams. Their destiny is not in their own hands.

P.S. Happy Father's Day, dad!

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