Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 11:21 PM
Tigers starting pitching undone
by bullpen collapses, weak offense
wrapped up a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals with
a 4-3 extra-innings loss Wednesday despite great pitching from Jeremy
Bonderman -- which seems to be a trend so far this season.
has already had a number of good starts go to waste due to poor
production from its offense or poor pitching from its bullpen.
has pitched four games already for the Tigers and has yet to get
a decision. His worst start was on opening day when he gave up three
runs, and the game was blown by the Detroit’s relievers.
nine innings last Friday against the Blue Jays and got a no decision
after the Tigers lost 2-1 in extra innings.
Tigers supposedly vaunted offense, Bonderman should be getting more
run support. Also, the starters should be able to trust the bullpen
when they go to the dugout with a lead.
and Justin Verlander are on record for giving six quality starts
but combine for only three wins. Both have tremendous earned runs
averages under 2.0.
had trouble all last season getting runs from his teammates, and
the fact that this trend is carrying over to this season should
Jones had been steady until he blew a save opportunity Wednesday,
and Joel Zumaya has also pitched well in relief. The problem is
though, the Tigers middle relievers and set-up man Fernando Rodney
can hardly be trusted with the game on the line.
Wilfredo Ledezma blew starter Mike Maroth’s lead in Tuesday’s
game after he was taken out. The Tigers came back to win, but Maroth
was not credited with a decision for his performance.
also time for the Tigers free agent acquisition Gary Sheffield to
contribute to Detroit’s offensive production. His batting
average currently sits at a miserable .132.
If the Tigers
want to maintain their division lead and return the playoffs this
season, they are going to need to start helping out their starting
pitchers. They can’t afford to keep giving games away in baseball’s
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