Monday Mankowskis: Playoff Odds, Rayburn’s D, Stephen Drew’s Luck

therapist.jpgThe horror of the weekend sweep in Cleveland hasn’t completely washed away here at Daily Fungo HQ.

Saturday night’s game was so disappointing that yesterday’s seemed more like a scrimmage … A scrimmage that counts.

But a new week is here and the Tigers are at home, where they excel. Instead of focusing on this homestand’s tough opponents, let’s walk on the sunny side of the street:

  • Baseball Prospectus maintains its Playoff Odds Report and over the past two weeks the Tigers have taken the fifth-deepest plunge in terms of percentage: from a 33.9 percent on July 4 to 22.1 percent yesterday. As far as I’m concerned, it feels like 1 percent today. Wait, didn’t I just say something about the sunny side? Well then, let’s savor the Twins’ 17.4-percent drop in that same time period.

  • Jayson Stark says

    The Tigers have “inquired” about Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly, according to a source familiar with those discussions. But the clubs haven’t reached the “let’s-get-moving” stage, the source said.

    A second source told ESPN the Magazine’s Buster Olney that the two teams haven’t spoken about Lilly in over a week.

    So what do we make of it? Nothing.

  • After watching Ryan Raburn butcher the first ball hit to him yesterday in Cleveland, would you believe he has the second-longest errorless-game streak on the club? True story. His 25-game streak is behind only Alex Avila and Danny Worth who each have 27. Also, Worth hasn’t committed an error since being promoted to the majors.

  • We’ve heard about Lilly, we hope for Dan Haren, we expect neither. But would the Tigers be crazy to at least inquire about Edwin Jackson? While he might have thrown his arm out of socket with his gruesome, 149-pitch no-hitter, the Tigers certainly would know what they’re getting in E-Jax. Just sayin’.

  • He might never become a Tiger, but I still track Stephen Drew. Nick Piecoro writes today about Drew’s luck — or lack thereof.

    [D-backs interim manager Kirk] Gibson believes what several with the club have said for years about Drew – that he is unusually unlucky.

    “Of all the guy’s I’ve been around, (Drew) is probably the most unlucky hitter I’ve ever seen,” Gibson said. “If you look throughout this year, the balls that he’s hit, guys have made great plays or balls for whatever reason have got caught.”

    It might be true, but that’s a tough claim to back up with hard evidence. At least one metric doesn’t support it. Drew’s batting average on balls in play this season is .320. League average typically is around .300. Drew’s career mark is .306.


Finally, wish a Happy 64th Birthday to tennis legend Ilie Nastase — and throw in a few curse words. You know he would.

Published by

Mike McClary

Upbeat guy.

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