With all of the talk centering around the Tigers turning down a deal for Roy Halladay, lets look at what our current staff ace has done this season...
Last year, Verlander was the talk of Detroit. But, it was for all of the wrong reasons. He ended the season with a 4.84 ERA, 17 losses and the most walks issued in his 3 year career. He had gone from the No-hitter and All Star golden boy to the fans whipping boy. Of course, those who looked at his peripheral numbers (like his 4.18 FIP) would have
They have the best ERA amongst starting pitcher ERA’s at 3.90, the best WHIP and third best FIP. So, they have a good starting rotation. No doubt about that. Erik Bedard has had some injury troubles this year but has posted a 2.47 ERA. Felix Hernandez has a 2.54 ERA and Jarrod Washburn has a 3.22 ERA. That is as good as it gets for your top 3 starters. But, how about their #4 and #5 starters? This is where it gets dicey. No other starter has more than 10 starts, and
Title says it all, doesn't it? I'll cut to the chase.
Inge is 2nd in the AL in home runs for 3B, 3rd for RBI's and middle of the pack in batting average. As always, those numbers alone do not tell the whole story. Basically, he is a Fangraphs.com and Baseball Prospectus All Star. He has the third highest wOBA among 3rd Baseman, and is barely behind Scott Rolen for that honor. He is second in wRAA, fourth in wRC (Runs Created) and is second in Isolated Power. And, he makes up for being 4th in OB
Joel Zumaya has a right arm that scouts and GM's scour the country for, and dream about in their sleep. He consistently throws a 100+ mph fastball that is unhittable when located properly and has a sick curveball that can bend a batter's knees. It is also a right arm that can survive the horror that is Guitar Hero and an injury-filled 2007 and 2008 seasons. It is also a right arm that shows the potential to completely dominate and humiliate MLB batters, like the Cubs felt two days ago.
In the grand scheme of things, winning today may not make a difference in the Tigers run for the Central Division title. But, in my eyes, this was one of the most important wins of the year for the Tigers and Justin Verlander. Sure, the Tigers won the first two games of the series with Figaro pitching and Armando attempting to pitch effectively. Sure, the offense exploded those two games. Sure, Leyland has just been extended and Maggs has been riding the pine.
But, today was about Verlander and