Detroit Tigers Week In Review: Week 5


(To read Week 4’s issue, click here.)

Week 5 of the 2015 MLB Season has come and gone for the Detroit Tigers. This week they looked a lot more mortal than the beginning of the season.

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The week also featured battles against two division rivals that will have a say on the Tigers’ postseason hopes

While the old cliché of every game counts is 100% true, division games really are a lot more important. And unfortunately they dropped both series they played against division opponents.

That’s why against the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals this week it was vital for the Tigers to handle their opponents. With a record of 2-4 on the week it could have been a lot better.

The Tigers are now 1.5 games out of 1st place so Tigers fans better buckle up and enjoy the rest of this season. The Royals don’t seem like they will be going anywhere and neither do the Tigers. This summer should be a lot of fun for baseball fans everywhere.

They will definitely need to play better than this week though. The offense, bullpen, and starting rotation all failed the team a bit this week and they’ll need to fix those problems.

It’s a long season though and we’re only in Week 5. Tigers fans shouldn’t be all doom and gloom as there’s still plenty of baseball to be played.

And now, a look back at Week 5 of the 2015 MLB Season:

Record: 2-4


@ CWS: 1-2

vs KCR: 1-2

Game of the Week: Friday, May 8th vs Kansas City Royals 6-5 W

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The most exciting way to win is on the walk-off. That’s why when the Tigers walked off on the Royals earlier this week it was so sweet. They held the early 4-0 lead only to have it disappear with ace David Price on the mound.

The lead would eventually become a deficit at 5-4 until the Tigers clawed back on their way to tie up the game. This game wound up being a nail-biter as it was tied going into the 9th.

In a surprising turn of events Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus used his closer Joakim Soria in the 9th. After the disaster of bullpen management earlier in the week, it was refreshing to watch Ausmus use his best pitcher in the 9th of a tie game.

He was rewarded with the walk-off win against one of the best bull pens in the majors. While the walk-off was on an error, a win is a win. And to win against the Royals’ bullpen while the Tigers’ bullpen held up is a great sign.

The Week 5 “Game of the Week” shows how great baseball is and how you really can’t predict ball.

Surprise Pitching Performance of the Week

Kyle Lobstein vs Chicago White Sox 05/07/15

Line: 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 R, 3 K, 5 H, 2 BB, 100 pitches

The surprise pitching performance of the week easily goes to the Tigers rookie Kyle Lobstein. Lobstein’s been surprisingly effective this season after originally filling in for the injured Justin Verlander.

On the season now he has a 3-2 record with a 3.00 ERA. Among the starters now that’s actually the best. It’s not a stretch to say that Lobstein has been one of the most effective pitchers on this Tigers staff thus far.

His outing against the White Sox was superb. The Tigers lost the previous night on bullpen mismanagement and that left a sour taste in Tigers fans mouths. That’s why Lobstein pitching so well was important.

In a way he was the stopper for this Tigers team that needed one. The starting rotation was struggling and he gave them some stability moving forward.

It came in the most surprising and unexpected way. But it also came in the time of need, which was the most important part for this Tigers team.

Biggest Takeaway from Week 5

May 8, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher David Price (14) pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest takeaway from Week 5 is pretty easy to spot out. The Tigers starting pitching is not the same as it was from even just a season ago.

In 2013 they had a historically great starting staff and Tigers fans were spoiled. 2014 was much of the same as they dominated opposing lineups with regularity.

Even now it looks and seems like a former shell of themselves. Shane Greene and Alfredo Simon look to be slowing down after their hot starts. Anibal Sanchez has been inconsistent and has been roughed up recently. Even David Price struggled while also stepping on a bat and hurting himself a bit.

Lobstein (somehow) has a case as one of the best if not the best starting pitcher on this staff. He’s pitched well for them even though he’s supposed to be a replacement for the injured Justin Verlander.

The Tigers are barely treading water right now and their starting rotation is a big reason why. It’s hard to win a game when the starting staff is constantly giving up 4-5 runs to begin with.

There’s no mistaking how encouraging Greene’s start Sunday night was though. While it was an eventual loss he pitched a superb game on national television. If he can carry that over and gain some consistency it’ll go a long, long way for this Tigers staff.

With each passing game it looks like a trade deadline deal might be a necessity. With the Tigers very depleted farm system though General Manager Dave Dombrowski will have to work his magic once again. It’ll be interesting to see how the Tigers deal with this problem come July 31st.

Upcoming Schedule 5/11-5/17

vs MIN 5/12-5/14

Game Times: 5/12 7:08 PM, 5/13 7:08 PM, 5/14 1:08 PM

@ STL 5/15-5/17

Game Times: 5/15: 8:15 PM, 5/16 2:15 PM, 5/17: 8:05 PM

The Tigers will have another off-day on Monday to rejuvenate themselves after Sunday Night Baseball against the Royals. As we get deeper into the season these off-days will become necessary as players deal with their bumps and bruises.

After that they’ll be hosting the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. The Opening Series opponent for the Tigers the Twins looked to be struggling to begin the season. How the story changes in a matter of a few weeks.

They are right on the Tigers’ and Royals’ tail though as they’ve crawled over the .500 mark and then some. They are absolutely the surprising case of the AL Central and a dangerous team.

They have struggled against the Tigers though. It’ll be interesting to watch how the Tigers deal with their surprising division foe.

Then the Tigers will go on to visit the best team in Major League Baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have been good year in and year out so the Tigers will have to keep their senses sharp.

While AL fans may be against interleague play because of the DH rule, this might actually be better for the Tigers. They’ll have the chance to give their DH Victor Martinez a few days of rest. While the disparity in rules is still confusing it’s the perfect chance for them to give Martinez a rest.

The Tigers have two strong foes this week and will have to take care of business. It’s easy to drop games against quality teams even when you’re a World Series contender.

While they’ve had their struggles so far this season they can work on them. They’re still winning games even with their problems and have a chance to get back on track this week against two quality opponents.