The Detroit Tigers have officially overtaken the Cleveland Indians for first place in the AL Central after a masterful start by ace Justin Verlander who nearly put together his second no-hitter of the season. I haven’t believed in the Indians from day 1 worrying that they simply do not have the pitching to compete with the Tigers and Chicago White Sox. I could see them finishing as low as third when it is all said and done. If Minnesota were to somehow go on a run and play up to their talent level, even they could leapfrog the Indians, but Justin Morneau just hit the disabled list, there is no telling how Joe Mauer will perform upon his return and their bullpen and defense are major question marks. But the other two, the Tigers and White Sox, are the class of the division in my opinion.
The Indians could stick around with a move or two and they have the pieces to make a move for some pitching, but I’m not sure they will and as such they will struggle to stick around. I mentioned in my June 5th Twidbits that on the heels of a 12-15 month, the Indians then had a hellacious set of a games that would essentially make or break their season: “Cleveland is 12-15 in last month & just 4-9 since big sweep of Cincy. Sets at NYY-DET-SF-ARI-CIN & home v. NYY in next month will show a lot”. They lost three of four in New York and the first one in Detroit. It doesn’t let up for a while now. They desperately need Travis Hafner back and Shin-Soo Choo to start playing like we are used to seeing if they want to have a prayer.
And for those who don’t quite understand the picture, it’s a spin on a great, great scene from the best show ever, Seinfeld. You can see for yourself by clicking here (the embedding was disabled).