“…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.”
So, it worked out a little bit better than that, no? An 8-2 homestand, 4-2 West Coast swing, and a 5-1 homestand later and our Tigers are above .500 for the first time all year. Standing tall at 41-40 at the halfway point of the season, the sins of May have all but been washed away. There’s been a glut of heroes from Marcus Thames’ amazing home run streak to the return of the Sheff. Eddie Bonine throwing a couple of nice performances and Justin Verlander returning to something resembling his old form. Old friends Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney came back and struggled at first, but seem to have settled back down. The Todd Jones Experience blew his first save and with it he almost blew the Tigers shot at returning to .500, only to have the Fat Man come through in the end.
Yet, as we reach a very important stretch before the All Star Break, we must reconcile the Tigers’ hot streak with the upcoming 2 week loss of our namesake. The Big Tilde is down for the time being and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Tigers are leaving the Copa for the next seven games, starting with a three game set against the white hot Twins, a team that is coming off a very recent ten game winning streak. Unfortunately, we also aren’t going to get JV and Kenny out there at the Hefty Bag. It’s paramount that Little Cat, Nate, and Bonine keep up appearances and pitch well in this series. Cletus the Slack Jawed Backup and Matt Joyce Needs A Nickname are going to have big shoes to fill while the Tilde is healing. This would be a great time for Miggy and the Sheff to heat up, no? The Tiggers follow up their Midwestern voyage with another trip out west to take on the Mariners for a four game series.
This week provides the Tigers with an excellent opportunity to make up some ground in the Central race and to get a little more comfortably above the .500 mark. The following week brings the Tigers back home for a pair against the Indians and a four game set against the Twins, again. And we, of course, will see you there on Saturday, July 12th.