The Tigers, after an excellent 5-1 first week, have spent the past few slowly creeping back towards .500, a destination they'll probably reach within the next week. This past week appears to be a good indicator of what the Tigers really are; a decent offensive team, with spotty defense and inconsistent pitching.
All of this was evident in a week where the Tigers went 2-4, the lone bright spot being the lone win against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday afternoon, led by an excellent pitching performance by Jeremy Bonderman. More notably, the game was the first game of the season in which the Tigers won without scoring 5 runs or more. Unfortunately, the other 2 games against the Mariners were highlighted by little offensive production as well as a poor performance from a combination of pitchers from the mound on Sunday.
The previous series wasn't much better – although the opponent was notably better. That series also wasn't with a notable game – as lefty Mike Maroth came out victorious against Anaheim's new ace, Bartolo Colon. In the other 2 games, Anaheim put up double digit runs against Tiger pitchers as they took 2 of 3 games from the Tigers, just like Seattle did in the weekend series.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Maroth had a great outing against the Angels to beat Colon, but this week the award goes to RHP Jeremy Bonderman for his outing on Saturday afternoon against the Mariners. In the game, Bonderman went 7 2/3 innings while allowing 2 earned runs and striking out 2. However, the stats don't give the outing justice, as Bonderman retired 16 straight batters and looked virtually untouchable until he started to tire in the seventh. He's not there yet, but Bonderman continues to show flashes of his future potential as a top-of-the-rotation starter.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Tigers had no notable offensive performances, especially after Brandon Inge's breakout performance the previous week. A few notables; Alex Sanchez continued to hit well while stealing a pair of bases and earning his first walk of the season. Ivan Rodriguez only played in 4 of the 6 games (missing the game on Sunday for "personal reasons"), however, he still hit his 2nd home run of the season as well as hitting .357 for the week.
A WEEK TO FORGET: The 2004 season has not treated Nate Cornejo well, and that trended has continued over the past week. Cornejo got a pair of starts this past week, and didn't show particularly well in either, earning the loss in both games. While strikeouts don't appear to be the same problem for Cornejo as they were last year, he simply can't last long into games, or consistently get hitters out for that matter. If he doesn't get things together soon, a demotion to the bullpen or AAA could be in the works.
UP NEXT: So after a rough week, what do the Tigers have in store for them? An exciting west-coast trip including a rematch with the Angels as well as a 3-game set against the suddenly-competitive Texas Rangers. At this point, it'll be a successful trip if the Tigers can return home still above .500.