There's little suspense left in the season, but flailing Wild Card hopefuls are doing their best to preserve it.
The Tigers woke up on Wednesday just one game up on the Royals, and they’d face their toughest remaining test of the regular season, a date with Chris Sale, in the early afternoon. Assuming that Sale would be as good as advertised, Brad Ausmus’ squad had only one clear path to victory: keep the game close, boot the left-hander in the middle innings, and beat up on Chicago’s porous bullpen.
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Flashing back to Rany Jazayerli's assessment of the Kansas City squad that Moore inherited.
Over the next five days, the Royals and Tigers will continue to battle for the AL Central crown. Today we flash back to June 2006, when the Royals hired Dayton Moore to be their new general manager and Rany Jazayerli wondered whether Moore and the Royals could conceivably follow the turnaround modeled by... the Detroit Tigers and their talented GM, Dave Dombrowski.
At some point, an extreme performance can't simply be chalked up to simple sample size issue. Any team can play .250 ball for a week, or two weeks, or even a month. But it is now the middle of June, and as I write this the Royals have won barely one-quarter of their games--only a narrow victory over the Angels on Wednesday kept them from falling back to exactly .250--over a span of 64 games, or 40% of the season. "On pace" is an overused term in sports, but when we say the Royals are on pace to finish 43-119, equaling the 2003 Detroit Tigers' AL record for losses in a season, that is a pace not to be taken lightly. This team doesn't just suck; it sucks at a truly historical level.
In Steven Moya's first big test, he showed massive raw power and a terrifying K:BB ratio. Which indicator will win out?
Some prospects inspire a strong consensus among scouts. The tools and projection are easy to see; we know a player is going to be good, so it’s only a matter of how good. With other prospects, however, there can be a much wider range of opinions. Two scouts can see the same thing from the same player and come up with two totally different sets of opinions. It happens in the seats behind the plate, in meeting rooms before the draft, and in many of the discussions behind the scenes here at BP. To me, this is one of the best parts about scouting. Sometimes there are no right or wrong answers, or at least not ones we’ll know for a few years.
Reviewing the transactions we didn't write about but, in retrospect, wish we had.
Although we've published more than 100 Transaction Analysis columns since November, the reality is not every signing or waiver claim gets covered. Most of those missed transactions amount to nothing, but a few result in larger impacts than expected. Here are five uncovered moves that yielded good returns during the first half, along with what we would have written if we had covered them at the time, and what we should have written if we'd focused on exactly the right details.
Detroit goes from a 5-0 hole to a 14-5 romp, Jacob deGrom blows away the Braves, plus more from Tuesday and what to watch on Wdnesday.
The Tuesday Takeaway
The Tigers looked like they’d be in for a long night when the Dodgers jumped all over Justin Verlander in the top of the first inning of Tuesday’s clash between the two first-place clubs.
Rick Porcello keeps the ball on the ground to notch a shutout, and the Angels sweep a doubleheader, plus more from Tuesday and what to watch today.
The Tuesday Takeaway
After walking off against Sean Doolittle and the Athletics in dramatic fashion on Monday night, the Tigers quickly disposed of the American League West leaders on Tuesday to clinch a series win. The game breezed by in just two hours and 13 minutes, as Rick Porcello tossed his second consecutive shutout and needed just 95 pitches to complete it.
Hi friends! What would you say if I told you that the Justin Verlander extension was just as big a mistake as the Ryan Howard extension? Would you call me an idiot and never listen to me again? Good, because I would never say that. Never. However, the Tigers did make one mistake that was similar to Ruben Amaro Jr.'s, and it looks increasingly likely that they'll pay for it. At Fox Sports, I went over Verlander's early-season struggles, why they're different than last year's, and why the two years a club has to wait and see might be its most valuable, if often overlooked, asset. Block quote time!