Saturday, June 8, 2024

Hung Out to Dry


Last night, firmly I'd say, was Reese Olson's worst start of the year thus far. Olson had made a habit of pitching very strong outings without overexerting himself, and without much run support. In The Tigers' 0-10 loss to Milwaukee, Olson gave up 8 runs and 12 hits, despite striking out 6. I don't think I even need to say that Olson didn't get any run support on that one.

But it's the latest example of Olson pitching the best he can and the Tigers not especially showing up for him. Olson is 1-7 so far this season, with some April losses coming during outings where he only gave up 1 or 2 runs. Olson isn't the showiest pitcher in this rotation [I refer you to Jack Flaherty], but he's extremely consistent, and he's capable of going 7 or so innings even if he gives up runs. Until this past start he had an extremely low ERA, and the Brewers rout raised it from a 2.48 to a 3.43. This is also the umpteenth start from Olson where he gave up 5 or more runs, which is becoming a frightening trend for a team that has already lost Flaherty to an injury.

Olson's issues with opposing batters is only one leg of the problem though. The Tigers' lineup, even with Mark Canha and Gio Urshela, is painfully anemic this year. They had to send Spencer Torkelson down to Toledo due to his .200 average, and for a guy that was at one point the sign of great things to come, that's a disappointing trend. Not that Casey Mize is doing a ton better, his 4.70 ERA is telling me that he may have thrown his arm out a couple years ago. Other than Riley Greene, there's really not a ton going on with this lineup. Matt Vierling's hitting .282 with 28 RBIs, that's a very good thing. Kerry Carpenter was hitting before he got injured. This new kid, Justyn Henry-Malloy, does seem like, at the very least, a breath of fresh air. But a lot of these guys are either underperforming, past their prime or just doing...okay. 

And yet Tarik Skubal is 7-1. Which means that the Tigers' hitters show up for Skubal...but not for Olson. And that's odd to me. Yes, Skubal is the better pitcher, but Olson's record is due less to his own abilities and more to the lack of run support. It is a two-part issue, and I can't imagine how many more wins Sky might have in another market, but it's just sad seeing Olson going 1-7 despite having, at least til this week, a really nice year.

The Tigers looked to compete for a bit, but might be too mediocre to get too far above .500. I hate that they're still struggling, even as the Royals have found themselves, but that's just the Tigers' luck.

Coming Tomorrow- Everybody's talking about two rookie hurlers on his team, but he's no slouch himself.

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