My weekly take on the Tigers, also known simply and affectionately as “MMM.”
Week of 5/18-5/24: 4-2
This week: 5/25-27: at KC; 5/28-31: at Bal
Goat of the Week
Not too many goats on a team that ripped off seven straight wins, which the Tigers did until stumbling over the weekend against the Rockies, of all teams.
But righthanded starter Armando Galarraga is MMM’s first-ever two-time Goat, and on back-to-back weeks, no less.
A-Gal improved slightly in his last start on Saturday, but he’s still the weak link in a rotation that now includes Dontrelle Willis, who was feared to be the mother of all weak links.
Galarraga becomes a long relief man when Jeremy Bonderman returns to the rotation, which is perhaps two weeks away.
It’s a game of production in the big leagues. No jobs are given away out of charity.
Galarraga was a bright spot last year on a team with few of them.
But he’s not producing in ’09, and that means his spot in the rotation is up for grabs.
Hero of the Week
Let’s hear it for Willis, by the way.
Another strong start on Sunday, although in a losing effort.
I watched some of the game Sunday, and Dontrelle appeared to show no ill effects from his time spent on the disabled list due to anxiety disorder.
He one-hit the red-hot Texas Rangers into the seventh inning, then followed that up with a strong performance against the Rockies.
For what he’s coming back from, Willis deserves to be last week’s MMM Hero.
Quick scouting reports: Royals, Orioles
If slugfests are your thing, you might not want to tune in to the Tigers-Royals series this week.
Pitching abounds on both teams.
But if you like that kind of thing, have we got a series for you!
Justin Verlander vs. Gil Meche on Monday.
Edwin Jackson vs. Zack Greinke on Tuesday.
Rookie Rick Porcello vs. Kyle Davies on Wednesday.
Oh, and the Royals are the closest threat to the Tigers’ first-place status in the division.
As for the Orioles, they can hit but can’t pitch. A statement that fits more teams than not anymore.
Young Adam Jones is getting all Eddie Murray-ish: a .359 average; 10 HR; 32 RBI.
And he’s just 23.
Jones hit just nine homers all season in 2008.
He’s not on the juice, is he?
Seriously, it’s Jones and two usual suspects — Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff — who are inflicting the most damage. The three of them have combined to drive in 106 runs already.
Trouble is, the O’s haven’t gotten much from anyone else in the lineup.
The ERAs of the Baltimore starters should come with an NC-17 rating.
They range from the low fours to the eights. Mostly they’re in the fives–well into the fives.
The Orioles win by outslugging their opponents.
Correction: they win by having Jones, Huff, and Markakis outslugging their opponents.
Which is why they’re below .500.
Three men do not a lineup make.
Under the microscope
Let’s put Brandon Lyon there.
The free agent reliever is quickly getting Neifi Perez-like derision from the Tigers faithful. But to compare position-to-position, Lyon is a poor man’s Todd Jones — a pitcher who’s not overpowering and who relies on location and balls being hit to where the fielders are positioned.
Lyon is surrendering homers and extra base hits with alarming frequency, and doesn’t seem to be fooling too many hitters right now.
He’s booed when he enters the game at Comerica Park.
It’ll be interesting to see if Lyon, who lost the closer’s role in spring training to Fernando Rodney, will be run out of town. He doesn’t have strong ties to and roots in Detroit, like Jonesy had.
That’s all for this week’s MMM. Join me every Monday!