So, the first two series at home were pretty fun, right? Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, the Dynamic Duo of Super BFF's smashing away. Dramatic, walk-off wins and awesome blowouts. Undoubtedly some fun stuff. Suck it, AL East powerhouses!!!
And then comes Chicago. Suddenly the big boys aren't hitting as much as they're supposed to be. Some of our defense is looking shaky. We're just not getting any productivity due to uncertain swings and bad luck. But we thought we were supposed to be destroying the Central! Everyone panic!!!!!!!!!!
We're kidding, obviously. People who are panicking at Miggy and Raburn and other players' hitting slumps, our somewhat questionable defense, and Jim Leyland's managerial decisions need to take a pill and shut the hell up. Do we sound a little harsh? Well, we mean business on this matter. What this team already realizes and what most fans need to understand is that this is a Group Effort this year, never mind the fact that we're only ten games into the season.
There are indeed some very confusing statistics to these first ten games. After six games of pure hitting prowess, Miguel Cabrera has yet to get a hit in this road trip. Ryan Raburn is hitting a truly awful .065: 2 hits in 31 at bats. And Doug Fister, who we were SO excited to see claim his #2 Ace Role behind Verlander, succumbed to injury early on. Brandon Inge returned to the lineup despite his anemic, pathetic batting numbers. Plus, no starter got a win in the first nine games, and Jose Valverde was doing his best Fernando Rodney Defibrillator Act.
And yet. And yet we are 7-3. Why do you think this is, haters and pessimists? Because we are more than just the Cabrera-Fielder show. Because we have more offensive depth than many initially thought. Because just because our number one closer can't get it done doesn't mean someone else won't.
Have you seen Austin Jackson? We know we talked about it last post, but Lloyd McClendon should be worshiped as a God right now. The eliminated leg kick seems to be exactly what AJax needs to really be a great table-setter. Look at his numbers. LOOK AT THEM. Boy is on fire, and though there is no way he'll keep his offensive production at this crazy pace, expect him to have a much better season than the last one. And what about sweet Rick Porcello? His last two starts have been good, and the one on Sunday was just plain dominant. He's hot, and in more ways than one. Don't forget Juh-honny Peralta, who seems to be slipping everyones mind, and Alex Avila, who hasn't missed a beat off of last season. They're two huge reasons why we have as good a record as we do.
And of course, Justin Verlander. While we shall not speak of the 9th Inning Atrocity vs. Tampa Bay, he has been absolutely killing it in all three of his starts. We didn't initially like Leyland's decision to keep him in last night, and it was terrifying, but Justin said he needed to prove it to himself that he could do it. And that last 100 mph pitch and his reaction was worth every second of torment that the fans went through.
So, bottom line is: if one of the stars (right now it's Cabrera, for reasons unknown) is struggling, don't think all is lost. It isn't. For one thing, we have a great all-around team. For another, he's Miguel Cabrera. He will fix it. He's in good hands. And as far as Raburn goes--we know. It's annoying. But we feel that he will come around too, even Saint Lloyd has to get in there and change some of his mechanics.
The season's very young, folks. Of course we're going to have some rough edges at the start. But look at our boys' potential, and look at what they've already done. This is going to be a good year. So relax, and enjoy the show.