Thursday, May 24, 2012

Will it ever end?

Yes, I’m just as frustrated as every Tigers fan. But no, I’m not giving up on this team just yet.  I cringe and cry on the inside when the bases are loaded two innings in a row, and the Tigers fail to drive in a single run, but there remains a small spec of light in the back of my brain that makes me feel change is coming; winning is coming; first place in the American League Central is coming.  And don’t worry Tigers fans, the change is coming soon.  The pain will soon subside, and the extraordinary suffering we are all feeling will fade away.  Why are the victories within eyesight right now? Here are three reasons:

1. Interleague Play

The Tigers have already faced the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin their play against National League opponents, but the month of June consists of five more series against the NL.  How does this play to the Tigers advantage?  The five teams the Tigers will be facing have a combined record of 100-118.  The toughest test the Tigers will face is the St. Louis Cardinals, who own a 25-19 record, but the red birds will travel to Detroit for this June 19-21 series

Not only does the interleague schedule favor the Tigers in June, but the Tigers have a 143-125 interleague record since Bud Selig first instituted play between the two leagues in 1997.  That may not seem too impressive, but remember, the Tigers lost 119 games in 2003.

2. Prince Fielder
Fielder signed a 9-year 214-mil. dollar contract this winter

I won’t be the first person to say that Prince Fielder has been disappointing so far this season.  His 7 HR’s and 25 RBI’s have him on a pace to hit 26 HR’s and 92 RBI’s; 11 HR’s and 14 RBI’s less than his career averages.  Surely we cannot expect Fielder to continue hitting in this fashion.  Fielder is known as being a slow starter, and his .262 May batting average backs up that proclamation.  Look for Fielder to go Greg Jennings style at some point during the month of June and “put da team on his back.”

3. June 2011

Last season the Tigers went into the month of June with a 28-26 record, which is still an attainable record for the Tigers this May.  The Tigers went on to win 5 of their first 6 games in June, and ended the month 18-12; 44-38 overall.  Currently the Tigers are averaging 4.1 runs per game, so the offense can only go up from here.  The Tiger bats will heat up as the weather heats up in the Motor City this June.

So as painful as it is to watch the Tigers right now, the winning ways will come.  At the end of July last year, the Tigers were only 6 games over .500 and ended the season 28 games over the mark.  Remember, it was only 6 weeks ago that the Tigers were 6-0 and pounding the ball to all parts of the field.  We’ve seen the bats come alive already, and it’s only a matter of time before they come alive again.