August 14, 2016

The Lopez & Hernandez Show (Nothing Like It Today!)

Tales from a Bullpen … Cursed 

Remember when I said I trusted the Tigers bullpen?

I lied.

Granted, Shane Greene and Francisco Rodriguez did get the job done last night against the solid, first place Texas Rangers, but it wasn't without a little bit of stress. In fact, I had heard that Greenie was about to go on the disabled list with an oblique strain. He certainly looked tight, uncomfortable.

It's been a tale of the fractured bullpen during the five–game losing streak. Justin Wilson looks wore out — maybe that's why the Yankees jettisoned him. He's been solid all year. I had at one point thought maybe he would be the future closer. I shouldn't write this, but Bruce Rondon has been solid, as has Alex Wilson (lately). The Tigers bullpen has to be spectacular if this team is going to make the proverbial run to the finish. The Tigers are a decent team; I think they could make a deep run. It's going to take the whole team to make it happen: starting pitching, relief pitching, and solid offense.

The Tigers do not have anything resembling a balanced offense. The Tigers hit the ball and get on base and (sometimes) someone drives them in or hits a three–run home run. They generally don't steal bases, either. The catalyst has been Cameron Maybin — and he's out right now. I was suspicious when Manager Ausmus said that Jose Iglesias was getting a routine day off the other day and Mike Aviles was filling in. Yep, he's on the DL now. So, you can count five guys the Tigers are relying on as "out of commission" right now: Nick Castellanos, Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Pelfrey, and the aforementioned up–the–middle duo.

Hold out hope, Tigers fans. This team will put it all together and enjoy a great September run. That doesn't bode well, though, because the Tigers, these masters of the rollercoaster, have mostly been great for a period, then terrible. A great September could lead to a rough October. Then again, October is a new season, so …

This bullpen, though, is making me nervous.

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