What if I told you, all of the Tigers’ problems could be traced to one simple solution: the walk. Oh wait – oldschool and I have been telling you that.
And we don’t mean you, glorious Tigers fans. Nope – you’ve got your hands full striking out batters to end the game (see: Nelson Cruz).
Now, if we must label the “you,” it’d be for the manager. Brad Ausmus is the one piloting our immaculate roster to an average .500 season.
And it’s still worth the price of admission. You can watch any given Tiger be a hero on any given night, as Ian Kinsler displayed tonight. Down 4-3, Kinsler stepped up to the plate having already hit a home run in the game. He belted a deep fly ball to left field, soaring high and above the wall with a runner on base.
But doesn’t this feel repetitive? The Detroit Tigers always bail us out. So how can we help them? By getting back to the walk and the small ball ways that allowed us to start the season 9-1.
Shane “The Crane” Greene will be pitching tomorrow (Tuesday). He was a big part of our early success due to trusting the defense behind him. This is exactly what every pitcher needs to do. Twice today with two outs, Alfredo Simon walked the opposing hitter. Then, he finally trusted a ground ball that Jose Iglesias, all-star shortstop, picked up for the final out.
Credit Simon for pitching through pain, for he was drilled in the forearm of his throwing arm. But the philosophy is glaring: we have to balance all our American League power, whether via the pitcher’s strikeouts or the batter’s home runs, with the national league’s defense (instead of issuing a walk) and offensive style of manufacturing runs (by taking pitches and sacrificing).
IT”S A BALANCE. (I think I’ve written this article before…)
Please, Ausmus: leaning 90% on power is not working. Incorporate more small ball strategy and you will win many more low-scoring, close games that you can’t control every time with power.