Let’s be fair. In spite of a couple eggs laid just lately (and not goose eggs), the starting rotation has carried (and dropped, and carried again) the Tigers to the good record they have. That’s how baseball works. It’s harder than it used to be to slug your way out of a bad pitching staff. But with a couple bad starts, or at least failed ones, fresh in our minds, let’s wallow in…
It’s no surprise that you’d have a losing record in failed starts, but 2-17? Wow. Gotta pick ‘em up a little better than that, eh? The flip side is that Detroit is 46-19 (.708) in games where the starter gave the team a fair to excellent chance of winning. Let’s put that in our pipes and smoke it.
TONIGHT’S LINEUPS: Victor against Price
could be will be was sorely missed.
NOTABLE (PREGAME): Yesterday, if you happened to take a (long) nap during the 5th and 6th innings, you saw a pretty good game, aside from a rather persistent defensive clown show. So forget it – I guess there was no good game any way you slice it. Sanchez ruled through 4, and then the wheels came off. And would someone tell me why he had such a hard time putting away Ryan Hanigan (!) with 2 strikes?? That was the first sign of trouble. Let’s make a note of this. Chris Archer. Look at his face – dude’s 10 years old, man. (In truth, I knew going in as many of you did that Archer is no unknown and made a splash in 2013, though I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that he’d made 44 MLB starts, is 25, and had a career 3.38 ERA.) I don’t know whether Archer was that good or Tigers hitters were that bad, but since he was at about 30 pitches through 8 innings and made a great play on Jackson’s line drive, I’ll tip my cap. Were there any scoring chances of the runners on variety? (OK, yes – see yesterday’s postgame box link.) This is that rare game where I could rant and rave about a quicker hook for Sanchez and how the Tigers seemed to be phoning it in and how ashamed they should be. I feel kind of ashamed for having watched all of it. Well, no, not really. What I should feel ashamed of is holding out hope for that one big inning, I suppose. More fool me… Ian Krol threw 11 pitches with one strikeout in a scoreless inning for West Michigan on Friday… LHP Pat McCoy has looked pretty good so far, and even if he was up for a look and not much more, it’s unfortunate that he did something to his hamstring yesterday under those circumstances, 9th inning of a dismal game. McCoy was slow to the bag, sure, but couldn’t Miggy have at least tried to take that one himself?
POSTGAME OK, maybe it wasn’t such a terrible game. A lot of hard-hit balls off a true Cy, a lot of bad breaks, 3.1 innings of shutout ball from the pen, a HR each from Hunter and J.D. (his 7th this year in the 9th inning!), and a wee bit of drama along with the lightning, thunder, and rain at game’s end. When your starter gives up 7 runs, it’s pretty much out of reach, and Porcello’s scoreless streak came to a sad end.
SERIES WRAP: Taking 1 of 4 from the Rays at home was disappointing, to say the least. Call it a team effort. Now 48-37, the Tigers have a day to lick their wounds and regroup for the tall task ahead – Dodgers and Royals.
SERIES ALL-STAR TEAM
LF J. Martinez
DH V. Martinez