Justin Verlander. Detroit Tigers v. New York Mets. Joker Marchant Stadium. Lakeland, Florida. March 12, 2012.

Fans of the Detroit Tigers – rejoice! The numbers tell us that even in the midst of selling players in July, the team is still headed in a positive direction. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

Detroit Tigers total losses by month:

Okay. I may be stretching a little bit there. But, I need some positivity around the team right now. Between new players getting hurt, current players spouting ‘F-bombs’, and ex-Tigers making amazing plays (great catch by the way…just wish you were still playing for Detroit), I’m doing whatever I can to catch our Boys doing well.

Enough with the preamble. Here’s the breakdown of Tigers losses in July:

  • Starters: 5.5
  • Bullpen: 3
  • Offense: 3.5
  • Team: 2

Starting Pitching – 5.5 losses

The starters were responsible for 4.5 losses in June, so, 5.5 this month is a move in the wrong direction. Michael Fulmer had a rough month and gets credit for 2. On July 20th, he had the worst outing of his young career. He also gave up 6 ER on the 31st.

Justin Verlander continued to struggle against the Cleveland Indians. JV was chased after 3.1 innings on July 2nd. Jordan Zimmermann started strong this month, but, came crashing back to earth on the 22nd where he gave up 5 ER in 3.2 innings. Zim also gave up 5 ER on July 7th against the Indians. The bullpen gave up 6 ER in the same game and shared credit for that loss.

Bullpen – 3 losses

Bruce Rondon blew a save on the 28th against the Houston Astros. The Rondon conundrum continues: He’s really good against minor league competition, but, he can’t seem to translate that success to the big league level. Plus, his maturity is questionable (to put it mildly). Just ask Mike Moustakas.

The pen also shared half credit with the offense for giving up 4 ER in a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on July 14. The other half point was addressed above in the starters section.

Finally, Justin Wilson blew a save on on the 19th. Sadly, Mikie Mahtook had some late game heroics in that one as well. That particular game marked the actual end of the Tigers chances for salvaging the season for me. I was still holding out hope until then.

Offense – 3.5 losses

The offense got full credit on July 1st (only 4 hits against the Indians), July 8th (a 4-0 loss to Cleveland again), and on July 25th (8 hits and 8 LOB). Half credit with the pen on the 14th.

If the bullpen is supposed to be the weakness of the Tigers, how come the offense is just as bad? Hard to understand sometimes.

Team – 2 losses

Sometimes the entire team plays pretty well, but, can’t close the deal. That happened on July 24th when the Tigers lost 5-3 in 12 innings to the Royals. They just couldn’t seem to score or hold the Royals off late in what many thought might’ve been Verlander’s last start wearing the Old English D.

At other times, nothing goes right. I’ll just leave the comments of Brad Ausmus here to explain the 16-2 drubbing from Kansas City on the 26th.

Conclusion

Here’s where we stand for loss credit through the end of July:

  • Starters: 13
  • Bullpen: 18.5
  • Offense: 17.5
  • Team: 6
  • Outlier: 2
  • Total runs against (in losses): 384
  • Total runs for (in losses): 170

The offense and bullpen are responsible for 63% of the 57 losses this season. The bullpen has actually gotten worse since the departure of Francisco Rodriguez (remember him?). I don’t have any other numbers to compare this with. We will do so next year and see what the comparison shows.

It’s clear that the Tigers need some fresh blood to rejuvenate the team. After selling at the trade deadline, I’m hoping we see some young players called up from the minors to get some major league experience. The team next year will likely look a lot different on Opening Day at Comerica Park.

Let’s embrace this as Tigers fans. The team is rebuilding. They will go through some growing pains for sure, but, they might just come out better for it on the other side.