When people ask me if I think the Indians will hold on in the AL Central, I’ve taken to saying “heck yeah.” The Royals are good but have a lot of injuries and a pretty decent-sized hold to dig out of while down several key players. The Tigers are closer and healthier, but then they Tigers-it-all-up like they just did against the Twins.
Justin Verlander pitched fantastically against Minnesota today, allowing one run over eight innings and striking out nine. The Tigers lost, however, because (a) they could do nothing offensively against the worst pitching staff in baseball; and (b) their closer, Francisco Rodriguez, gave up three runs on two homers in two-thirds of an inning.
In all, the Tigers scored only four runs in dropping two of three to the Twins, who allow a league-worst 5.2 runs per game. Only Colorado and Cincinnati are worse at preventing runs than the Twins are, but the Tigers couldn’t figure them out.
On paper Detroit has a pretty good offense. It has the tendency of calling in sick in bunches, however. It’s just an inconsistent club. For that reason, I’m feeling pretty good about the Indians these days.