Can Tigers dodge last place?
Updated: May 9, 2003, 10:25 AM ETBy Jim Baker
As the Tigers beat reporter for the Detroit Free Press, Gene Guidi sees them play every day. It will probably come as a surprise to many that his mood is bright and his feeling about the team's chances of improving as the season goes on is very strong. He writes, "I still think they will avoid 100 losses this season. I'll go you one better: I even think they will finish ahead of the Indians in the American League Central."
This might seem like a brash prediction at a juncture
when a team is sitting at 7-25 (although not as brash
as it did at the beginning of the week prior to them
winning four in a row and posting their three highest
scores of the year), but Guidi bases his prediction on
the fact that while the offense has been slumbering,
the starting pitching has not been all that bad. True
enough, Tigers starters are about middle of the pack
in the American League in terms of ERA. Quite
obviously, the trouble has been on the other side of
the bat. In spite of this week's outburst at the
plate, it is May 9 and the Tigers have yet to score
100 runs. There are three American League teams (New
York, Boston and Texas) who have more than doubled the
Tigers offensive support to this point.
To illustrate the lack of succor, in 2003, American
League teams are averaging just about five runs per
game. Had the Tigers managed to score the
league-average in their losses, their record right now
would be 17-15 -- not counting as wins the games in
which they surrendered five runs exactly. As this week
proves to some extent, nothing that extreme can last
forever in baseball.
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