Tigers Open Playoff Run, Hope Team Can Close Games

October 2, 2014

(photo by Dawn Uhl Zifilippo)

The Detroit Tigers launch their bid for a World Series championship with Game One of the team’s playoff match-up against the Baltimore Orioles. Experts say pitching and defense win championships in Major League baseball -- and that’s just where the Tigers have had problems this year. Not starting pitching, which has been excellent, but the relievers, who have often struggled. The team brought in Joe Nathan to close games this year, but he was hit hard a number of times. Heading into the playoffs though, Nathan says he is back on track. “This is not something that you can just fix overnight, you know. You go out there and get beat around a little bit, it’s gonna take a little bit of time to get back to where you wanna be,” Nathan said. “But I really feel like I’ve hit some strides and really been on a pretty good groove as far as at least going out on the mound with the right mindset. And my stuff from there has gotten a lot better.” The Tigers catch a break of sorts by opening the post-season against the Orioles – a team that led the majors in home runs but does not get a lot of runners on base, meaning the Baltimore offense could disappear against Detroit’s power starting pitching…