Despite Cabrera’s historic weekend, Tigers finish home stand 2-4

Tigers face red-hot Twins, Dodgers next

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera makes a curtain call after his 3,000th career hit during the first inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (Carlos Osorio, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – It’s hard to harp on the Detroit Tigers following a historic weekend, and It’s too early to jump to conclusions regarding this season’s outcome.

For starters, there was plenty of good that came out of this home stand. A record-breaking crowd came out Saturday to witness Miguel Cabrera’s 3,000th hit -- 37,566 people filled the ballpark, good for the largest non-Opening Day crowd at Comerica Park since 2017.

Tigers fans were the talk of town on social media this weekend. After the Yankees intentionally walked Cabrera Thursday in his final at-bat, fans let the Yankees know how they really felt in response to the move. Meanwhile, Spencer Torkelson continues to swing a hot bat, and Beau Brieske looks to have a bright future in Detroit after making his major league debut Saturday night.

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera reacts on first base after his 3,000th career hit during the first inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Also, 80 degrees in back-to-back days in April? Come on now.

The glaring, enormous, you’re-waiting-for-me-to-bring-it-to-attention elephant in the room is the lack of offense right now. Yikes. The 13-0 romp of the Rockies Saturday was great. While it was clear from the get-go that the Tigers would likely win the game, every at-bat was important. Hitting is contagious, and the Tigers’ lineup needed any sort of morale boost to get the offense rolling, regardless of what the scoreboard said.

By the way. the amount of times “save some runs for the second game” was said in bars and living rooms across Metro Detroit likely broke records, for all we know.

It’s great that Javier Baez is back in the lineup, because his production has been desperately needed after he was placed on the injured list. The Tigers made things interesting in the second game against the Rockies Saturday, with Austin Meadows hitting a two-run triple in the ninth. Just when you thought the magical weekend at Comerica would continue, Harold Castro came up empty in three swings against closer Alex Colome, ending Detroit’s home stand at 2-4.

Keep in mind, the Tigers aren’t the only team struggling in the AL Central right now. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson committed three errors in one game against Cleveland, and they’re struggling to close out games. White Sox closer Liam Hendriks already has multiple blown saves, and has a near 6.00 ERA in seven appearances. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals are on a four-game losing streak.

A lot of teams across the league are trying to work out early season kinks, so let’s not worry too much just yet.

Upcoming Road Trip

It’s safe to say things don’t get easier for the Tigers this week.

For the first time this season, the Tigers head to Minnesota to face newcomer Carlos Correa and the Twins. Minnesota is riding high on a four-game win streak, including a three-game sweep of the White Sox.

If the Tigers hope to win at least one of those games, scoring runs is a must. It seems obvious, but if the Tigers can’t score, they’re not going to win. Aside from putting up 13 runs against Colorado Saturday, the Tigers have scored three runs or fewer in 11 of their 15 games. Let’s just say there hasn’t been a whole lot of small curly fries to be redeemed, if you catch my drift.

Eduardo Rodriguez, Michael Pineda and Tarik Skubal are slated to take the bump in Minnesota. Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) is due for a quality start as he’s a much better pitcher when he’s given run support. In three appearances this season, the Tigers have scored a mere two runs while he’s on the mound -- let that one sink in.

Pineda gave up three hits in five innings against the Yankees in his first outing of the season, Thursday. Meanwhile, Skubal has been dominant, pitching to the tune of a 1.32 ERA and striking out 21 batters in just 13.2 innings.

From there, the rest of the starting rotation remains a mystery heading into Los Angeles. With Matt Manning and Casey Mize on the injured list, manager A.J. Hinch will have the combination of Tyler Alexander, Willy Peralta, Beau Brieske and a bullpen that ranks fifth in the majors with a 2.35 ERA to silence the 11-4 Dodgers.

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