These Tigers must really be awful. The best they can hope for now is a 136-26 record. At this same juncture a year ago, the Tigers were 26-32. They couldn’t hit or pitch consistently and sat six games out of first place in the American League Central. And the walls came tumbling down in Detroit. Panic has become a standard emotion in this town. If everything isn’t running smoothly through 162 games, somebody must be screwing up and heads must roll. But prematurely worrying after just 58 games this year is downright ridiculous. Flip the record. They’re 32-26. They’re in first place. And unlike this same point a year ago, their starting pitching is so strong, so deep that Justin Verlander is only the third best pitcher currently in the rotation. “We’re competitive with each other,” said Max Scherzer, “but we don’t compete against each other. We all push each other to get even more out of ourselves.” Scherzer, 28, has pushed himself to the top of the Tigers’ rotation, but this has become a staff of many aces. That’s why it’s pointless needlessly fretting about the dramatic offensive shifts (10 runs one game, getting blanked the next) and the backend of a bullpen with far more questions than answers. Excellent starting pitching remains the template for championship baseball. “Look, hitting often comes and goes,” said manager Jim Leyland. “That’s going to happen over the course of a long season. But I know that every day that I come to the ballpark, I’ve got a pretty good chance of winning because of the guy I’ve got penciled in as the starting pitcher.” Scherzer’s 8-0 after his impressive seven inning, four-hit, nine-strikeout effort Thursday in the Tigers’ 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay in the series finale. He has finally harnessed the immense talent the Tigers saw when they acquired him along with Austin Jackson and others in the Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson three-way deal four years ago.
Starting pitchers have Detroit Tigers in great shape
Detroit Free Press | Jun 7