Bad weather could create late-season headaches for Tigers

Bad weather could create late-season headaches for Tigers
June 11, 2014, 5:45 pm
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There are far worse problems to have -- just ask the injury-riddled Texas Rangers -- but Detroit had its fourth game of the season postponed on Tuesday.

That means, as the season wears on, the Tigers will have fewer days off and more doubleheaders. Before Wednesday's White Sox-Tigers contest, Detroit only had 60 games under its belt -- the fewest of any team in baseball -- while the White Sox and Indians have played 65, with Kansas City (64) and Minnesota (63) not far behind.

No makeup date has been announced for Tuesday's White Sox-Tigers game, but it'll either result in a scheduled doubleheader or Detroit losing a precious off day in the second half of the season.

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Detroit lost three games to bad weather in April and will begin making those games up next week. The Tigers already have doubleheaders scheduled July 19 (against Cleveland) and Aug. 23 (at Minnesota), and only have four off days in August and September.

"It does help certain things, it helps bullpen arms, it allows most of our starters to get pushed back a day," Ausmus said of Tuesday's rainout. "But then months down the road we're looking at long stretches of games or doubleheaders where we'll need to have a sixth starter. We deal with it when it comes up."

Thanks to a 3-7 record over their last 10 games, the Tigers don't have a sizable lead over any of their AL Central counterparts: Kansas City is 2 1/2 back, Cleveland is 3 back, the White Sox are 3 1/2 back and Minnesota is 4 back.

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While Detroit is a veteran-laden club that's made the ALCS the last three seasons, they'll have to fend off a competitive AL Central without the benefit of many off days. Kansas City also has four off days in the season's final two months, while Minnesota has five, Cleveland has six and the White Sox have seven.

But Ausmus sees the rigorous schedule as being a product of where his club plays.

"Generally when you play in the northern part of the country and you don't have a roof," Ausmus said, "you're going to have to deal with that."