The chaotic state of the second-place Tigers

The question of scoreboard watching came up to Brad Ausmus at some point yesterday. At that point, he was looking at a rotation plan that includes Robbie Ray and Buck Farmer the next two nights, and may or may not include Justin Verlander for Sunday, or next week, or anytime soon.

In other words, for all those asking about how the Tigers are watching the Royals, they have their own worries — a lot of them. 

“You lose [Anibal] Sanchez, you lose [Joakim] Soria, and one of the best pitchers in Tigers history is being evaluated,” Ausmus said. “I wouldn’t say this has been fun the last few days. Not to mention that we went 19 innings and our bullpen was overworked, overtaxed. But you just keep plugging away, and maybe two weeks from now, we’ll look back and laugh about the road trip to Toronto and Pittsburgh.”

 

There was no laughing in the Tigers clubhouse Monday night. There was barely any talk, really. It was a quiet — mainly an exhausted quiet, but a real quiet clubhouse.

“We need to get our feet back on the ground right now,” said Dave Dombrowski, who has become an air traffic controller with all the shuttling between Toledo, Erie, Pittsburgh and Detroit the last 24 hours or so. “We’ve had a couple times with starters getting hurt leaving games early, you’re bringing guys up, you’re moving them around, we lost a bullpen guy. We need to kind of get back. We’ll see what happens.”

They’ll get some semblance of order back on Thursday, when the stable part of the rotation comes back around. Max Scherzer faces the Pirates that night at Comerica Park, followed by Rick Porcello (remember him?), David Price, and then either Verlander or a fill-in. If Verlander has to miss time, Ray could start Sunday and then the Tigers could use Monday’s off-day to skip a spot.

Their bullpen should stabilize a bit tonight. As rough as Monday was, the fact that the Tigers got through the loss using only one reliever who pitched in Sunday’s marathon was a blessing for them. The late-inning bullpen group should all be available Tuesday, as is likely Phil Coke.

The positional roster remains to be seen. Last night gave them a chance to get a relatively normal night of sleep after they looked beaten in the turnaround from Sunday’s 19-inning marathon in Toronto to Monday’s game in Pittsburgh. They actually showed some decent signs of life as the game went on, mounting a pair of rallies.

The challenge in all of that is the schedule doesn’t get easier. They’ll have off-days on their next two Mondays, but they’ll have day-night doubleheaders on the ensuing two Saturdays to counter that. Even with an off-day, they’ll play 24 games in 23 days starting next week. They’re in the midst of a stretch of 55 games in 55 days, and you could make a case it’s essentially 56 games in 55 days given those 10 extra innings they played Sunday.

They’re going to be taxed and tested again. Count on it. And if you think their depth has been tested now, check back in a couple weeks.

The Royals won’t keep winning every game. The Tigers probably won’t keep losing at a rate of three-of-four like they have recently. The question, now that this is a race, is how many games they can start winning again in this stretch.

 

26 Comments

And they add farmer who is not part of the 40 roster while Lobstein is?
Who spent his last days in MLB last night, Whelan or Miller?Not Coke I guess

The real test for Brad Ausmus and the coaching staff starts now . We all saw the downward slide starting a few weeks ago . If the Tigers are to take the A.L. Central it will take being creative and alot of teamwork and guts .
Offense, defense and base running have all came into question .
Also important are decisions made by Brad Ausmus and his staff . When a team falters this bad lets look to the GM to tell us what went so wrong .

the GM not getting the proper bullpen staff assembled in the offseason.

DRS -44
2013:-66
2012:-32
Defense bas as usual

We were thread-bare then hanging on by one. We are now adrift and not because we are in 2nd place. It’s because our players don’t feel they can keep up with the opposition. In truth, they can’t. The new-age manager is beginning to rely on archaic thinking. Let your lumbering hitters go for the bomb and be content to play station-to-station. Wait for something or someone to make something happen, to change the flow of impending doom.
At least yesterday we got some hits from guys that need to produce them.
They will need to hit in order to offset the desperation that masquerades itself as AA talent. There is a lot of pressure on Ray tonight, maybe not so much the A guy, Farmer, as that is much more a novelty than a viable solution.
Why not get EZ in there to see if he can kindle some sort spark?
We should feel lucky that Miggy didn’t strain something in a lost cause yesterday.
Miggy is slowly becoming a very contentious off season topic.
As Larry says, we all saw this coming. Well, almost all of us.

They are about as underwater as the roads in Metro Detroit….sinking without a voice at the top.

Miguel said he was misinterpreted when he talked about his injury during the AS break . I dont remember him back pedaling about Verlander or himself replying to Miguel
“It’s part of the process. The same thing is happening to Justin Verlander, but the difference is he pitches every five days, so you don’t see it as frequently.”

Tigers nation in panic mode. Will KC regress? Will the Tigers start hitting? C’mon folks!

The Tigers look like a chemical fire right now. Rookie manager mismanaging Nathan, rookie infielders not hitting/fielding exceptionally well, 2nd baseman is a pop-up machine, power shortage from 3/4/5 hitters, outfielders keep making errors, catchers can’t hit, bullpen is shaky, and SP’ers are inconsistent. Add to that injuries to Soria, Sanchez, and JV (who may have had his for some time). The Tigers can recover if they accomplish the following from here on out: very good starting pitching (average at least 7 innings & 3.5 runs max), tighter defense, and scoring 4.5 runs per game. Royals are on a roll but that won’t last so if the Tigers can do those three things, they’ll still win the Central. It may not be likely, but they can still win their division.

Hi Tom,
Should we be reminded that the opposition has found weaknesses in our hitters and pitching and this is killing us…they seem to be doing their homework well….Do we do our homework as well ?, I don’t think so…..Let’s put Dombrowski in a cage for a while…he’s
really screwing this team up…too much money to play with!
Also you don’t play well
knowing you may not be with the team much longer..
Say no more.

You kinda hit several nails squarely on the head Tom. I don’t see how so many problem areas can be corrected though.

I can’t say I’m surprised. This is what I posted on this blog on opening day this season:

Well, here ya go. I’ve got:
KC
Det
Cle
Chi
Minn
and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver.

By Rich on March 31, 2014 12:18 pm – Reply

As the girl in “My Cousin Vinnie” said, balls on accurate.

With seven weeks to go, the drama now begins.

that was your prediction for the end of the season of August 12th? 😉

^^ ‘of’ should have been ‘or’

i’ll throw in some upbeat news – cuz we need it!
Krol had a really good outing last night. 2 innings, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 Ks.
it’d be great if he’s got his groove back. and hopefully we’ll get Hardy back in the D real soon too.

If nothing else the rest of the season should be interesting, might come down to the wire and re-invigorate the team as well as the fans

does anyone else think D. Nava will be a Tiger soon?

Tigers could use a rainout today…

i give it a 50/50 shot!

A rainout would mean they would play this game on September 29 . No common day off the rest of the season

Don’t understand why Ausmus pulled a reliever who gets 3 strikeouts in one inning. Tigers have to get 2 innings from a successful reliever. Don’t have the range in the bullpen.

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