The starting rotation of the Detroit Tigers, which is home to two of the last three AL Cy Young award winners, was supposed to be one of the strengths of the team heading into the season. After todays loss in Oakland to the Athletics, the Tigers have lost seven of their last eight games, and many people are wondering — why?
The answer lies at the pitchers mound.
Tigers aces Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer has both struggled badly. In Scherzer’s only start during the stretch he allowed seven run over seven innings. Verlander faired even worse, allowing 11 hits in each of his two starts including five runs over six innings and nine runs over 5.1 innings respectively.
They weren’t the only ones with bad starts as Rick Porcello allowed eight runs over 5.1 innings in his start, Robbie Ray allowed seven runs in 3.1 innings of work and Drew Smyly allowed three and six runs respectively in two five inning starts.
The Tigers lone win in that eight game stretch was also the only quality pitching start, a seven inning, two run performance by Anibal Sanchez.
Another bright spot is rookie Corey Knebel, who threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen in today”s loss.
Detroit has to be immensely disappointed with the way the last eight games played out. They were eight games that the Tigers should have realistically won as the A’s were the only team with a record over .500 on the season.
Fact of the matter is, if the Tigers can’t get better performances off the mound, they wont remain atop the AL Central for long.