By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. With 80 (42-38) games behind us, readers have the opportunity to read and think about a number of different topics.
You will notice an additional area of attention this week. With all the tremendous individual performances we have seen this year, it’s time we get back to recognizing them when they happen. So Kudos returns to the lineup.
Kurt and Holly don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts. Suspect nothing different today.
Jack Morris has become more comfortable in his role broadcasting for the Tigers. He pairs well with Mario, gives good insight and has obviously spent some time with a media coach given his new and pleasant voice inflection. Unlike the others, he’s able to deftly include his analysis of players’ performances – good or bad – which gives us better insight.
Justin Upton reminds me a lot of Austin Jackson with his ability to pull up short before fly balls land. He’s very tentative in the outfield, often looks less than confident and misplayed a number of fly balls this week. Disconcerting that Cameron Maybin had to guide him to a catch because he appeared completely lost.
Where would the Tigers be without the best signing of the year – Cameron Maybin? The man hits, plays “small ball”, runs fast, steals – and adds a number of intangibles to the team with his infectious personality, smiles, energy and team hugs. I think we’ve found the team leader/successor to Torii Hunter.
Cameron Maybin deserves a huge amount of credit for keeping this team afloat. Along with Ian Kinsler, they are a dynamic duo at the top of the lineup, setting the table for the meat of the order. But maybe more than performance, he has provided cohesiveness to this team; a component the team lacked prior to him returning from injury.
It looks like some rest really benefitted Michael Fulmer. After skipping a start, Fulmer returned with a vengeance. I don’t know where this team would be without the emergence of this kid; the unquestioned future ace of this staff for years to come.
Success in July becomes more and more critical with Cleveland continuing their dominant run. With the Indians winning 14 games in a row and counting, the Tigers have been fortunate to remain within 7 games of the division lead. Sounds funny to say that, but I think we all remember how quickly a 7-game lead can deteriorate; we remember painfully.