Chicago, Il-  Despite the Tigers loss to the White Sox on Monday, the offense showed signs of freeing itself from a season-long malaise that has plagued the club all year.  The 13 men left on base ultimately doomed the Tigers, but the 12 hits were encouraging as well as one other stat:  six walks.

The Tigers have showed signs of pressing this season.  A lineup full of high powered bats coupled with through-the-roof expectations may be one of the reasons the offense has sputtered.  Expanding the strike zone has been a problem as the Tigers are not swinging at enough strikes.  Nor are they walking enough.  Detroit entered play on Monday 12th in the American League in walks.

Miguel Cabrera has walked only 10 times this year and three were intentional.  Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young have combined for only ten walks.

Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon knows the Tigers have to change their approach if they want success.  My philosophy is simple,” he said.  “Get a good pitch and take a good swing.  I’ve preached that to everyone from my son to Prince Fielder, to Miguel Cabrera to Brian Giles.”  The lack of walks indicates the Tigers are pressing a bit.  Trying to make something happen has taken its toll on the offensive numbers.   

“We have to remain patient, “McClendon said.  “You win games by working pitch counts and getting the starter out of the game.  Your goal should be to get to the other team’s middle relief every night.”

Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols were the two biggest acquisitions in the off season.  The Angels invested heavily in one of the game’s greatest hitters.  So far he has given them a .196 average and one home run in 34 games.  He has walked only seven times.  Fielder snapped an 0-22 slump with three hits Monday night and while he has not approached the depths of Pujols’ struggles, he too has put extra pressure on himself.

So how much of the struggles these two stars have endured is due to changing leagues?  “On a scale of 1-10, I would say a five,” McClendon said.   “You put so much pressure on yourself to fit in and to contribute that you get away from doing the things that made you successful.”

We all know that Fielder will finish with numbers that reflect his first seven years in the major leagues.  Cabrera will be there at the end of the season as well.  It’s a matter of everyone around them contributing, and it all starts with getting a good pitch and taking a good swing.  Mix in a walk too.



Mike Sorek
05/18/2012 08:54 Mario
My cousin Joe Weems was a huge tiger fan and air force staff Sgt. He was killed in a tragic accident on Monday in ramstien Germany. Could you please mention his loss on the air and how much he loved the Tigers? It would mean alot to me. Going to the copa without him won't be the same. You can contact me back via email. Thanks mike Sorek.

Noralee Carrier Potts
08/30/2012 17:36

Mario! I sent you a Facebook message last week, but haven't heard a thing, so I am trying to contact you this way. We will be driving from Grand Rapids for tomorrow's (Friday) game with the White Sox. Along with us will be our 10-year-old grandson, Donovan, who is a huge Tigers fan and watches all televised games. Your niece, Erika Townsley, works with one of his uncles and babysits one of his cousins. I would LOVE to get him into the booth to meet you and Rod. His dad met Ernie Harwell in the booth 30-some years ago. I'd like it to be a surprise to him. Is there ANY chance I can hear from you yet tonight? 616-446-1380 or via email. Thank you thank you thank you!

randy palmer
02/15/2013 14:46

best of luck this year mario impemba and rod hill!!! randy palmer

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