Saturday, April 5, 2008
Many were expecting the Tigers to start the season 5-0, but they continue to fall and are now 0-5. Dontrelle Willis got the start today and had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, but quickly fell apart from there. A White Sox comeback was imminent after Willis kept giving them opportunities to come back and score. He finished the day with seven walks, while striking out zero. I think you can look at this start and see that Dontrelle Willis will struggle this season. Yes, the offense will be there to help him, but constant control problems are killing him. Not only that, but the bullpen failed to keep the team in the game giving up two runs.
What is wrong with the Tigers? The bullpen. The bullpen is the most important part of your team and it is so underrated. The Tigers had a great off season and will move away from this slump, but Dave Dombrowski's failure to land a solid reliever hurts this team's playoff chances. The bullpen has taken on three of the teams five losses, with an 4.82 ERA (does not include today's game). Moving away from the bullpen, the Tigers do not have a lineup filled with guys that will get on base, run, and score. When Granderson comes back this will change some, but this is a lineup compiled of power hitters. Palcido Polanco is off to a poor start, and I expect him to slow down some after setting a career high in games played last season. The Indians have a better rotation, bullpen, and lineup, and will likely take the division.
Moving away from first, many, including me, had underestimated the White Sox. John Danks and Gavin Floyd have put together two strong outings, and will make for solid 4 and 5 starters. They improved their bullpen, and are better by the additions of Nick Swisher, Carlos Quentin, and Orlando Cabrera. It should be an interesting race in the AL Central.