Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
At some point, with just about every team that plays ridiculously well for a long stretch, they come down to earth for a little bit. I think this stretch is what the Tigers are working through right now. Let's remember, it's not like a lot of these losses were 12-4 blowouts, but instead games where the Tigers couldn't convert a little thing that they almost always do (like getting a runner from third with less than two out). The Tigers have proven over the first 100 games of the season that they are better than a .500 ballclub, and they'll show that in the final month. The pitching is still going strong, that has been the Tigers calling card all season long, and that is what is going to help lead this club into the stretch run.
Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
The Tigers recent funk centers around a very simple concept; it was bound to happen. This team had been playing absurb baseball for the better part of four months. It's nearly impossible for any team, particularly one with so many young or old integral components, to continue a run like they were on. The Tigers have slowed as various players have had their hot starts tempered. Justin Verlander has seen his effectiveness tail off in recent starts. Curtis Granderson has mellowed his early season success. Zach Miner has been hit or miss since the All-Star break. Kenny Rogers had a rough go in mid-July, but seems to be pulling out of it. Overall, it's just a matter of something that was inevitable. This team is too talented to not expect them to rebound with at least one more tear down the stretch. I'd expect them to go on an 8-2 or 10-4 type run sometime in the next two weeks; a run that will make sure they maintain their division lead. The Tigers may not be an experienced post season group, but that shouldn't stop them from overcoming a stretch of games that even the greatest teams in history have endured during their finest seasons.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I think it's a combination of things. First, the Tigers are in the most difficult part of the schedule, having played or will play the Twins (6), White Sox (7), Red Sox (3), Yankees (3), and Rangers (4) in August, and it appears that some of the players are starting to tire just a bit. Keep in mind, this Curtis Granderson's first full year in the big leagues, and Magglio Ordonez hasn't played a full season in two years due to injuries, so he may be hitting the wall. In Granderson, and also in Marcus Thames' case, pitchers have made the adjustments to getting them out, and now they must counter that. Offense has been the primary culprit over the last two weeks, having scored three runs or less in 8 of the last 12 games (1-7, 3-9 overall). I think they can break out it. Every team goes through bad stretches where the hitting/pitching/defense seems to be out of sync, and we'll see if the Tigers can right the ship against the White Sox.
Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!