The Detroit sports writers seem to be souring on our Tigers. After Detroit got swept in New York over the weekend to start the season’s second half, a gloomy mood has overtaken the media. It’s true that the Tigers’ bats were silent against the Yankees. But there seems to be so much more to the story than being broomed out of Yankee Stadium.
First of all, the three games combined were lost by a total of four runs. Friday night’s game was 5-3, Saturday’s was 2-1 as was Sunday’s. The good news is that the Tigers pitching held up well against one of — if not the — best lineups in baseball.
And let’s keep in mind who the Tigers hitters were facing in the last three games: A.J. Burnett, C.C. Sabathia, and Joba Chamberlin. What we witnessed in New York was the Yankees’ off-season moves paying a huge dividend. Without free agents Burnett and Sabathia, the series could have easily been won by Detroit two games to one. If you take into account that the Tigers were held to one run against one of baseball’s most dominate forces (Sabathia), it should lessen the psychological blow a bit.
I remember when the Tigers were swept in Seattle twenty-five years ago. It was on the heels of their 35-5 start in 1984. I also remember people making predictions about “reality setting in” and how the sweep by the Mariners would be the “beginning of the end” for the Tigers.
The Tigers may very well fade in the coming months. But it is much, much too early to predict their downfall. The Tigers have a great chance of winning the American League Central division for the first time ever. The last thing they need now is the media casting doubt on their abilities because of a three game series in New York.
I maintain that the Tigers have a legitmate shot at the post season in 2009.