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2011 MLB season in review: Detroit Tigers


That last loss, 15-5 to the Texas Rangers, has really soured my outlook on what this team was able to do during the 2011 regular season. I said it all year that they were a flawed tam, and all of those flaws came to be in one inning in Texas. Otherwise this was a great year for the Detroit Tigers, and they finally have a young core of talent from which to build around.

In the end they were 95-67 and won the American League Central for the first time. They dominated late and really pulled away from the competition by going 20-6 in the month of September. They had a winning record against the four other teams in this division and wound up 50-22 against their divisional foes. Of course they managed just a 7-11 record in inter-league play. 

The Tigers scored 787 runs on 1,540 hits. The team batting average was .277, and while that was the third best team BA in the AL there is a room for improvement here. This team need more offensive production from its third baseman and an everyday second baseman. Even though they lack overall team speed with just 49 stolen bases, they did have the fourth most triples. Of course the spacious confines of Comerica Park certainly helped with that. Tigers' batters did strike out 1,143 times and drew 521 walks.

The pitching staff gave up 711 runs on 1,406 hits. The staff ERA was 4.04 just seventh best in the AL despite having the AL pitching Triple Crown winner as their ace. The starting rotation needs some work, Phil Coke made a terrible run as the fifth starter, and Brad Penny wasn't much better. The trade deadline acquisition of Doug Fister certainly helped as he went 8-1 down the stretch, but this rotation still needs another arm. 

Beyond closer Jose Valverde, set up man Joaquin Benoit, and sometimes Coke and Al Albuquerque the bullpen does not have many trusted options. We saw that play out over the course of the 2011 post season. 

Moving forward this tam needs a few bullpen arms, a preferable left-handed arm for the starting rotation, an everyday second baseman, and a bigger bat at third. That may be a lot to get in one off season, but General Manger Dave Dombrowski has done well for this team in the trade market. 

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