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The Catalyst

Detroit Tigers: Struggling to Win

Brandon Rothenberg, Staff Copy Editor

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With the All-Star break right around the corner, the Detroit Tigers are not putting up the numbers that were predicted. After a hot 9-1 start to the season, the Tigers are now in third place, an unfamiliar and cold place to be in for most fans. The Tigers are having trouble scoring runs, they can’t get their pitchers to hold a lead.

The Tigers most recently came off a split victory series against Houston at home. In the final game of the series, the Tigers had a commanding 7-3 lead. After looking strong, the struggling Anibal Sanchez gave up a home run, along with a few runs in between, eventually tying the game. The day before that, the Tigers had a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning with David Price on the mound, and once again, the Tigers could not hold a lead. It had to take some late-inning heroics by Tiger’s rookie James McCann to hit a walk off home run and send the fans home happy. McCann has been fitting the role of backup catcher perfectly, in place of the ailing Alex Avila. McCann is hitting .290 with an on base percentage of .750 and ten runs batted in.

“He’s a good player,” Jared Char, 11, said. “He hits better than Avila and does his best.”

Some veterans on the team are shockingly struggling, such as Anibal Sanchez.  Sanchez had a 8-5 win-loss record through 21 games, with a 3.43 earned run average. Through ten games, Sanchez has a 5.75 earned run average, a 3-6 win loss record, and has given up 12 home runs. Anibal used to be an elite threat on the mound who got off to a somewhat decent start at the beginning of the season, but has slouched ever since.

“His arm slot may be too low,” Alex Bolstrum, 11, said. “His arm should be higher. Mechanics could be the reason he is struggling.”

The Tigers have been waiting for Justin Verlander to return to the team. He was cleared by his doctor to start throwing again and hopefully within a few weeks, JV will be back in a Tigers uniform. Many fans are anxious to see what he can bring to the team, as they’re struggling in third place. Verlander was striving during spring training until he tragically hurt his tricep. The Tigers made an announcement that Verlander would be back for his second start of the season, but were mistaken. It seems like we’ll be waiting for Verlander to come back till Christmas.

“He’s throwing really good bullpens,” Andrew Brown, 11, said. “I think from him, we can only expect greatness.”

Verlander won the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player award back in 2011, which hasn’t been won since Dennis Eckersley back in 1992. Tigers fans are eager for the team to get hot again. At this point, making it to the playoffs seems like a slim chance as the the season lengthens. Still, Tigers fans stay true through it all.

 

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Detroit Tigers: Struggling to Win