stat counnnter

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blogging and the Tigers

Blogging has been a little light what with the holidays and my oldest son's 40th birthday.(man does that make me feel old!) Blogging may become lighter yet because my house needs work and Iv got to do most of it this summer. But I'll try to post every three days or so.

In the meantime, I decided to watch the Tigers play host the the New York Yankees for the last 3 days at Comerica park. I wanted to see how the Tigers would stack up against a proven quality ballclub and I found out: They don't. There is no way the Detroit Tigers can compete with the big boys and I predict they will be at or below 500 by the end of the season. There are several reasons why I believe this.

Watching the two teams hit I noticed that the bat speed of the Tiger hitters seemed to be a lot faster than the NY hitters. Yankee bat speed seemed to be less than max. Of course a slower bat speed leaves the bat in the strike zone just a tad longer increasing the chances of making contact.

Mike Mussina is not a power pitcher. He throws a lot of off speed stuff and if hitters can't hit the off speed pitches they will go nowhere as a team. He was literally lobing the ball over the plate and the Tiger hitters were trying to kill it. The Tigers had the same problem with Randy Johnson on Monday.

Some Tiger hitters have little or no self discipline. Chris Shelton has a habit of swinging at a pitch up around the eyes. Of course you can't hit that kind of pitch. The natural tendency is to swing under it. I only saw one NY hitter swing at such a pitch.

I think the Tigers' impressive win total was the result of a scheduling quirk. For the first 40 or so games The Tigers played mostly cream puff teams who were struggling and couldn't hit or pitch. We got a glimpse of what is to come when the Tigers played the White Sox and lost all three games. I wanted to see if those losses were just a fluke or the norm for the Tigers against good teams. They are the norm. The Tigers will finish with a better record than last year for sure but they are not contenders. Not yet. They need more talent.


Anonymous said...

I do agree that the tigers will not be a real contender this year or maybe next, and yes their schedule has been a little weak. Verlander is having a good start as a rookie and hopefully can improve with age. Hitting has also been decent even against top notch teams like the Yanks. In Tuesday’s game they had 11 hits they just failed to bring them home. I guess what I am trying to say is they have been bad for so long that I can barely remember a better start to a season. I am actually looking forward to watching them. You can not deny that it has been fun watching this team lead their division so far.

Hopeful Fan

Mike N said...

Hopeful fan:

Yes the Tigers have been fun to watch this year and perhaps I've been biased by many years of poor performance. The Tigers did win today, Thursday, in the bottom of the ninth. But that just avoided a sweep. The only way they'll contend is if they improve during the rest of the season. Although I'm pessimistic about their playoff chances, I'm still rooting for them.

Myrhaf said...

I'm not sure about your analysis of bat speed. I would think that faster bat speed is better if the bat connects with the ball.

Mike N said...

Yes a faster bat speed is good, for home runs and extra base hits and even for singles if the pitcher is throwing a lot of off-speed stuff. But for fast balls, and if you're having a hard time hitting them, keeping the bat over the plate a little longer increases the chances of contact. When I was a volunteer assistant coach for little league, the managers always wanted the kids not to swing as hard as they could but just a tad slower. It allowed for better bat control and the bat stayed over the plate longer. Some batters I've seen seem like they're swinging in slow motion, and they still get hits. Well, that's my theory for what it's worth.

Ron Abramowicz said...

I just heard today (June 28, 2006)the Tigers have won 15 of their last 17 games.

They have been the best team in baseball the entire season!

Mike N said...

You're right, so far. I just hope they can keep it up.