Detroit Tigers Road Record has my warning!

Detroit Tigers Road Record has my warning!

Growing up in Canada, with the city of Detroit being the closest destination to see a major league baseball game, I became a huge fan of the Detroit Tigers. I rejoiced in 1967 when Mickey Lolich and his team defeated the mighty Bob Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series.

Expansion brought baseball to Canada first with the Montreal Expos and then the Toronto Blue Jays, making the Tigers a distant memory. However, over the past two seasons, I found myself watching the Tigers as they put together a very good pitching staff.

I thought their president/CEO/GM Dave Dombrowski made a blatant mistake when he hired former Detroit shortstop Allan Trammell to run the ship. Trammell brought his friends Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish and his coaching talents were better suited to the minor leagues than the majors.

But kudos to Dombrowski, who issued a bus ticket for that trio and then brought in former Pirates captain Jim Leyland, and he in turn brought in a veteran coaching staff. Now, as we look at the American League standings, we see the Tigers sitting at an incredible 18-9, including an outstanding 11-4 on the road.

Starting pitching has been the key as they are getting consistent performances from top to bottom with their starters. Mike Maroth 4-1, Kenny Rodgers 4-2, Nate Robertson 3-2, Jeremy Bonderman 3-2 and 2004 first-round pick Justin Verlander 3-2. Together they’ve won 17 of 18 games this year, and the bullpen won only one, which speaks to the starters being durable and Detroit’s bats getting ahead early. In Detroit’s last 14 games, their starting pitchers are 10-3 with a 1.87 ERA.

On the offensive end they have seven hitters with double-digit RBI totals with points deep in the lineup, so what’s their Achilles’ heel? He would say that it is the defense of his team where he has already accumulated 15 errors this season. The left side of the infield with Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge has been brutal with 12 between them.

Playing the Twins and Royals hasn’t hurt and Detroit is 40-4 in those 5 wins. Kansas City has lost five straight and is 0-11 on the road this season. The major league record of 13 road losses to start a season is held by the 1969 Houston Astros and the 1988 Baltimore Orioles.

2006 has been kind to Motown residents with the Super Bowl before and now the Tigers play early in the season. Too bad about the Detroit Red Wings!

bob acton

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