5 Biggest Keys To The Detroit Tigers’ Turnaround
5 Biggest Keys in Detroit Tigers Turnaround
The Detroit Tigers have won 10 games in a row, including two on the road against their biggest competition in the AL Central. It's a far cry from the team that couldn't manage to stay 10 games over .500, and for whom the only home field they were going to see in the postseason was their couch.
The differences between that team and the one that is currently battling for best record in all of baseball can really be broken into five segments. Obviously, some elements like Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera are not included because they continue to post results no matter what month it is.
Recently, however, there have been resurgences in several players that has created a juggernaut of a team when mixed with the stability of Scherzer and Cabrera.
The Tigers have quickly gone from a team with more flaws than Octomom to a team that is confident and ready to take its place as the best in baseball. You have to really appreciate just how well played these last 10 games were on the part of the Tigers, and it has shown a glimpse into why radical changes were not necessary at the trade deadline.
So find out what those five pieces are that have dramatically changed the Tigers, and also think about if the team is able to have them stay that way for the rest of the season. Mix in Omar Infante and Octavio Dotel, who are set to come back from injury at some point, and it's easy to see why teams are desperately trying to avoid the Tigers like I avoided gym class.
5. Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander had fans buzzing over his performance last night, and he has now notched two wins in the past week, with only two earned runs allowed in 14 innings. Last night was the key however, as Verlander hit 100 mph again on his fastball and seems to have that confident swagger Tigers fans have been waiting for.
It's finally time for Verlander to be the Laverne to Scherzer's Shirley. Yes, that's all I could come up with.
4. Alex Avila
As previously discussed, Alex Avila has been nothing short of tremendous over the past few weeks.
3. Rick Porcello
Rick Porcello has been as cool on the mound as that picture would suggest he is, and his starts have been the opposite. Porcello is red-hot, winning four in a row, and the Tigers have won in each of his last five starts.
2. The Bottom of the Lineup
Obviously you have guys like Alex Avila tearing it up, but let's not forget his other bottom of the lineup teammates including Don Kelly, or as he is known in Detroi,t "The guy who shouldn't be starting, but does so well you then say, 'of course he should be starting'".
1. The Bullpen
The bullpen has been the biggest difference in this team over the last few weeks. You used to have to watch the ninth inning with your hands over your eyes like the finish of a horror movie. "No Jim Leyland! Don't run into that forest! You know Jose Valverde is right there!"
Now when the Tigers have a lead late, you know the door is all but closed with guys like Drew Smyly, Jose Veras and Joaquin Benoit all having incredible seasons. There are almost too many good options to choose from. I said almost, Jim Leyland.