TigsTown Roundtable: Key Down the Stretch

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: What is the key to hanging on to the division lead over the final two weeks?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
While it sounds relatively simple, the Tigers just plain need good starting pitching. They get that, they'll be playing in the postseason. This offense isn't going to be able to out-slug anyone. And the bullpen isn't deep enough to carry the team for five or six innings. Get six or seven strong innings, hope the offense can find a way to get a couple runs across the plate (manufactured or otherwise) and then hand things over to the back end of the bullpen that has been so good almost all season long. If guys like Nate Robertson can't turn in more solid outings and the Tigers are forced to play catch up in too many games, they could find themselves having to play catch up again in the final days. But six strong innings, day in and day out, and the Tigers will be just fine. The offense is capable enough, and the bullpen is strong, just need a eight to ten more strong starts from this rotation, and the division crown will be theirs.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
The key is simple, don't get caught up in the drama. These players already have one of the most difficult challenges in sports; particularly the offense. Hitting a round ball, with a round bat, with less than four tenths of a second to react to a pitch that might be in a little box that you want to swing at? That's insanely difficult to do! There is no reason to complicate it further by diving into the drama that the media is playing up on a daily basis. By and large, the Tigers have gotten here by pitching well, playing defense, and scoring just enough to win more games than they lose. If they ignore the hype surrounding the race, ignore the Twins in their rearview mirror, and just go out and play, they should be fine. This team is talented enough to take the Central Division crown and go to the playoffs. They just need to let their talent carry them these last two weeks.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
The key for the Tigers will be their starting pitching. Quality starts were few and far between during a stretch where they went 3-7 against Kansas City and Toronto, but the starters have picked it up on the road trip, and they will need to continue that trend to try and hold off the Twins. The fourth and fifth starters behind Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Rick Porcello have produced very little this year, but if Nate Robertson and Eddie Bonine can build on their outings from their last turn, the Tigers should be in very good shape.

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!

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