So, the Tigers return home from a West Coast swing in which they went 3-6. This consisted of gonig 1-2 vs the Angels in a pretty good series, 2-1 vs the Mariners in a pretty good series, and 0-3 against Oakland with a pile of sadness in a failure bowl. This leaves the Tigers at a season low ELEVEN games under .500 and a season low NINE games out of first. FAIL.
I can’t even stand here and tell you that I see the light around the corner. That light is really freaking dim right now and can only be seen with a pair of night vision goggles. Sam Fisher can see the light. I can not. It’s simple math, really. Yet, once again, I’m going to provide you with something to believe in. What to look forward to awaits you after the jump…
In Soviet Detroit, 10 Game Homestand Plays You
The next 10 days provide an opportunity to get the Tigers back on something resembling a track. I said a few weeks back that as long as the Tigers are within 5 of the division lead at the All Star Break, I’ll be confident. This was a pretty easy goal when the Tigers were only 7 or 8 games under and 6 or 7 games out. The Oakland sweep could not have been more ill-timed. Thankfully, the rest of the division refuses to play a whole lot better and the Tigers have seven straight games against division opponents over the next seven days. Four games versus our fellow AL Central disappointments, the Indians, and then three against the hated first place White Sox. 4-3 is the bare minimum for these games and that would only bring the Tigers back to 10 games under .500 with a 28-38 record and would likely still find our heroes 7 or 8 games out of it. 5-2 would be better (29-37) or dare we dream of a 6-1 start (30-36?!?). The homestand closes out with 3 against the Dodgers, who are also currently staring at the wrong end of .500 at 28-32. A 7-3 homestand would leave Detroit at 31-38 and likely back to having a pulse. Conversely, a 3-7 homestand would leave the Tigers at 27-42 with a demotion to the International League. See why it’s important to actually win these next ten days? JV can get us started off right tonight against Paul Byrd, but the bats have to follow.
West Coast Swing – National League Edition
Nooooo!!! I don’t wanna go back!
Relax! This time its six games against the equally punchless Giants and Padres. Barry Zito will certainly provide the Tigers with a 10 run inning to be followed up by a shutout from Linecum at some point in the series. See why it’s so important to have a good homestand? Both of these series are winnable and anything less than 4-2 in unacceptable.
Six More At Home!!!
And against more beatable teams! (Clearly, this term should not exist for the Tigers at this point…) The Cardinals, while currently 36-26 have a rotation made out of cardboard and duct tape and should be prime targets for our newly rejuvenated Tigers. The Rockies follow for 3 more and appear to have lost the favor of Vishnu this year and can honestly be called “worse than the Tigers” at this point. Again, less than 4-2 is unacceptable.
What Does It All Mean?
It means that depending on how the next ten days play out, the Tigers have a puncher’s chance of being back in this thing by the end of June. If they can pull of a 7-3 homestand and a pair of 4-2 trips after that, then they’ll have completed a 15-7 stretch and will be 39-42 heading into a stretch of 9 division games in July before the All-Star Break. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played, but a lot of baseball has already been played. If the ship isn’t righted over the next ten days, then it’s probably headed to the bottom of Lake Erie already.