COMMENTARY| If anything, the Detroit Tigers' past six games have given us a glimpse of what they're capable of doing -- and that's winning.
Riding a season-high six-game winning streak, the Tigers (45-42) are again a topic of discussion. And that discussion, prior to the streak, was one of just how badly they were playing -- one of how they were grossly underachieving after being picked by a handful of experts to win the American League Central Division crown and make a run to the 2012 World Series.
Twice injured this season, pitcher Doug Fister showed how effective he could be when healthy, striking out eight in seven innings of work Friday night in a 7-2 road win over the Baltimore Orioles (45-41).
Fister posted his first back-to-back wins this season, and if he continues to pitch well, the Tigers rotation should get a healthy boost. Justin Verlander, the Tigers' No. 1 starter, and Max Scherzer, their No. 3 starter, have each kicked up their games a notch in recent weeks -- minus Verlander's All-Star Game appearance, of course. Even Rick Porcello is showing signs of improvement.
Quintin Berry is Detroit's feel-good story of the 2012 MLB season, though. The career-minor leaguer made a dazzling catch Friday, robbing Wilson Betemit of a home run. Berry continues to impress despite an 0-for-5 showing against Baltimore. He delivers spark, energy and will undoubtedly be one of the most important players for Detroit in the second half of the season.
But before fans immediately put the Tigers back into contention, they should keep in mind that five of the Tigers' past six wins have come against the AL Central bottom-dwellers, the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins, who own a combined 7-13 record in their past 20 contests (Twins 5-5, Royals 2-8).
Six straight wins are a positive stride; so are eight wins in the past 10 games. And a win over Baltimore only adds to that streak. Although the Orioles are 3-7 in their past 10, they play in arguably the best division in baseball, the AL East.
It's still a bit early to say Detroit has turned the corner, but it's rounding the bend.
Adam Biggers has followed Major League Baseball for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Tigers. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
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