By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
It’s time for this week’s Kudos, Comments & Concerns.
The topics covered below, unshared by the writers (geez, how many times do they need to tell us), cover the events of Tiger games played through Wednesday night. After all, why would we want to include Friday’s boring victory? Go Iggy!
With an 8-1 start through Wednesday, what’s not to like?
The outings by the new guys, Greene and Simon, were just plain stellar, as they dominated Pittsburg with spellbinding performances resulting in 2-0 and 1-0 road victories.
Both wins were sufficiently put neatly away by Joakim Soria, who more than likely will have to be dragged away, kicking and screaming, if the Tigers dare to remove him from the closer role in the future.
Last week, Wally Joyner was my shout-out and this week, it’s Jeff Jones.
Through Thursday night, the Tigers lead all of MLB with a 1.91 team ERA.
We saw some incredible, masterful pitching this week and it’s especially gratifying that a certain team in Washington, DC is tied for 10th/11th with an ERA of 3.26.
The play in the first 2 weeks of the season has already demonstrated the team’s ability to win in different ways.
The first week, the bats were on fire and made it very difficult for opposing teams especially when coupled with good starting pitching.
And this past week, as the bats quieted down, the starting pitching took center stage by storm, coupled with great defense, resulting in 2 shutouts; mighty encouraging signs.
Jim Leyland was back for all three games in Pittsburgh, and unlike Bob Uecker, he was sitting in the front row and behind home plate.
Although his job description is focused at the minor league level, he was watching intently and taking notes.
Was Dave having him evaluate talent, team, management – or all?
Despite the great start by the Tigers, Verlander’s abbreviated simulated game, VMart’s back and well, the bullpen’s lack of work are things to talk about for sure.
Injuries are just that and we will have to wait and see; but the bullpen is a question mark still because our starters have been going 8 innings and all we have needed is Mr. Soria, who has been brilliant.
Injuries aside, not needing the majority of the bullpen to this point has been a nice problem to have.
I wish I didn’t have to identify VMart again this week but he is so crucial to the success of this team – and if anything, his injury is more pronounced.
It doesn’t help that every time I turn on the TV or radio, the national media is criticizing the Tigers for their reputation (since 2013) of allowing their athletes to play injured.
It’s silly to allow the players to make the determination and the team needs to step up their policy for everyone’s sake.