Anyone out there who is following the Tigers knows that this is the worst stretch they have been through all season, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. When they need runs and wins the most, they are falling short. Well short.
The pitching has not been great of late. Messenger uncharacteristically tanked against the Giants last night. The relievers continue to give out hits like they’re going out of style. Nohmi and Fujinami were mediocre at best.
But the hitting has been the true problem. Consider this. The Tigers have put up runs in just 3 innings of the last 47. They are averaging one run per game in their last five. Now, the two hired guns from overseas (Matt Murton and Mauro Gomez) are doing their part and then some. During this losing streak, they are hitting a combined 13-for-35 (.371). The thing is, the rest of the team is hitting a meagre 19-for-126 (.151). That’s right. The two sluggers are almost out-hitting the rest of the lineup!
So what’s the solution? Wada tried tonight to shuffle the hitting order and even insert a few seldom-used players into the starting lineup. That’s the right idea but it is coming way too late. Uemoto is not producing at the top of the order and hasn’t been for a long time. Yamato has no business hitting second. Then again, with whom can they be replaced? I secretly hope Nishioka will come back and hit the ball well, though we have no evidence that he will. Hopefully Ryota Arai can come back as well and beef up the hitting order, too.
Right now, nothing is going well for the Tigers. Their confidence is as low as it’s been all year. It’s time to get creative with batting orders, lineups, and even practice schedules! Come on, Tigers! Stop the bleeding!