Archive for September 1st, 2006

Friday: 09.1.2006

Good Riddance, August!!

Months like that happen. They do. But that doesn’t make them any easier to swallow. Why did the team go 13-16 in August? One number: .310. That was the team’s August on-base percentage, or not on-base percentage as it were. Only Seattle (.308) and Toronto (.304) were worse, which is why they finished 11-17 and 12-17 August records, respectively. It is very difficult to win games if you cannot effectively get on base. The team’s inability to draw walks has been well-chronicled and it was on full display in August with just 63 free passes drawn, baseball’s second-lowest total (Seattle, 59).

The inflated earned run averages of the rotation led many to believe that the pitching was the downfall in the team’s worst month all season, but the strength of the bullpen kept the team ERA at a very respectable 3.75 for the month (7th-best in baseball). However, Kenny Rogers was the only starter to post an earned run average below 4.61. He was excellent in five starts going 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Youngsters Zach Miner and Justin Verlander each struggled mightily throughout August. Miner’s woes combined with Mike Maroth‘s scheduled comeback could keep the rookie in the bullpen for the rest of the season. This is from a Monday article in the Free Press:

Leyland said Maroth will be activated and put in the bullpen Friday, the day rosters expand to 40 and the disabled list becomes largely unnecessary. It’s unclear when Maroth’s elbow will be sound enough for him to pitch in relief, let alone start.

More information with regards to the rotation from today’s edition:

Upcoming rotation: Kenny Rogers and Justin Verlander are switching spots so that opponents can’t get locked in on the power pitching of Bonderman and Verlander in back-to-back games. Rogers will go tonight against the Angels and Verlander on Saturday . . . Leyland is leaning toward having Wil Ledezma start on three days rest against the Angels on Sunday night. … Ledezma replaced Zach Miner in the rotation Wednesday. Nate Robertson originally was scheduled to work Sunday. But then his start Tuesday night in New York was pushed back a day by a rainout. So Robertson’s next start will be Monday.

The sooner Placido Polanco returns, which could be as soon as two weeks according to Mack Avenue Tigers, the sooner I can quit vomiting every time I see the name Neifi Perez in a Detroit Tigers lineup.

Here is a look at the September competition and the records of each opponent:

Team Games W L Win Pct.
Los Angeles 3 70 64 0.522
Seattle 3 63 70 0.474
Minnesota 4 77 55 0.583
Texas 2 69 66 0.511
Baltimore 4 60 73 0.451
Chicago 3 78 55 0.586
Kansas City 5 49 86 0.363
Toronto 3 69 65 0.515
Off Days 3      
Total 27 535 534 0.500

Though we enter the twilight of summer, the heat ramps up beginning today for the team. The pennant race is in full effect. Seven massive games against the Twins and White Sox could decide the playoff fate of all three teams. One plus side to an otherwise formidable schedule: five of the last eight games are against the hapless Kansas City Royals.