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What’s up with the Detroit Tigers early season success?

Nick Castellanos. Detroit Tigers v Philadelphia Phillies. Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Lakeland, Fla. Feb. 24, 2019. (Photo by Tom Hagerty.)

The Tigers are 7-3. Shane Greene is written in MLB history. Starters have an ERA of 2.04. Detroit swept their home opener. Could Tigers fans want anything else?

Detroit is off to a much better start than anyone anticipated. A team full of young players, this team is expected to lose quite a few games this season. So why are they playing so well?

Young Bloods

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Christin Stewart is batting .188 with 2 HR and 10 RBI, providing that early rookie spark that Detroit desperately needed. He hit a 2-run home run against Toronto in the first game of the season, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the 10th, ultimately starting the season with a win. Then,  in the second game of the homestand, he blasted a grand slam to the left field bleachers in the bottom of the 7th, allowing Detroit to take a 7-4 lead a win the game. Then, in the most recent game, he knocked an RBI triple off the right-field wall, which tied the game at 1. He later scored to give them a 2-1 lead, which Detroit carried to a 3-1 victory.

Jeimer Candelario has also continued to provide for the Tigers, batting .211 and accounting for 25% of Detroit’s stolen bases. He also displayed athleticism in the field, starting every game and committing no errors.

Dominant Pitching

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Detroit’s starters have pitched exceedingly well. Matt Moore may be on the IR, but he has posted a 0.00 ERA in 10 innings, allowing only three hits and one walk. Jordan Zimmermann is showing why he was an All-Star with the Nationals, with a 0.66 ERA in 13.2 innings. Matt Boyd has posted 23(!!) strikeouts in his first 11 innings, but it’s newly signed Tyson Ross who has the starters only win on the season.

Shane Greene has been nothing but effective this season, recording all seven saves for the Tigers, and becoming the first player in MLB history to do that in his team’s first ten games. He currently leads the MLB in saves (not surprising). Fans can only hope this trend continues.

Struggling Offense

The Tigers are ranked 28th in overall offense, with a team average of .181. If Detroit wants to continue their early season success, the offense will need to pick itself up, starting with veteran Miguel Cabrera–who has yet to record an extra-base hit.

The season is long, but fans hope to see the team continue their success and shock the rest of the league.

 

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Written by Nick Dlugos

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