Walkoff Woodward

Concerning Detroit Baseball
May 26, 2014

Tigers Start New Week After Playing Like Garbage By Playing Like Garbage Again

Let’s see. Yesterday’s recap… copy…. paste…. change a few names… annnd….

Let’s keep this brief, because it’s not worth wasting too many words on. The Tigers lost 12-4 10-0. The offense wasn’t great and Justin Verlander Drew Smyly was worse, and the Tigers capped off a started what hopefully won’t be another truly awful week in style.

Colby Lewis started for Texas, and he wasn’t great. He was frequently in trouble. He pitched 5.2 innings, gave up five hits, and walked five batters. The Tigers turned all this into two runs. I know, phenomenal. After falling behind 1-0 they tied the game immediately in the first, and after falling behind 3-1, came very close to tying or taking the lead in the second, getting a run and leaving two in scoring position. But that was it against Lewis. Tommy Milone started for Oakland. His stuff wasn’t great. He wasn’t frequently in trouble, and he pitched 6.2 shutout innings, using fastball location (and an occasionally generous strike zone) to shut down Detroit’s offense. It was a rather disappointing showing, really.

But the offense takes a back seat to Justin Verlander Drew Smyly, who was really not good. In 5.1 innings, he gave up 11 hits, 9 runs, six of them earned. He struck out just one batter. That’s 16 earned runs allowed over his last three starts, and today’s game score of 14 was a career worst for him. You could be forgiven for being a bit worried about him. Drew gave up four solo home runs in the first three innings (Brandon Moss, Kyle Blanks, Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes). All of them save Cespedes hit pitches that were up in the zone and begging to be hit a long way. That was really Smyly’s problem all day – he struggled to keep the ball down and paid the price. Austin Jackson was oh so close to stealing Moss’s home run, going over the center field fence. He had it in his glove – but it slipped out as he tried to bring it back over the fence. Smyly would give up two more runs in the fourth after loading the bases with nobody out, and that pretty much capped off his horrible day. He only got through five innings. Then Phil Coke came in and gave up a grand slam. (The homer was Coke’s fault, but two of the three baserunners got there via catcher’s interference and an error.)

There were very few standout performers in this game for Detroit. Victor Martinez had two hits. So did Andrew Romine and Rajai Davis. That’s about it. Yeah, nobody even had two hits today. Miguel Cabrera doubled once. That was about it. Not many good swings.

Oh, and Miguel Cabrera left in the 7th with what appeared to be a hamstring issue. It was 12-2 and possibly precautionary, but still. And Joba Chamberlain left in the 8th with a right ankle contusion, too. He’s day-to-day. Wasn’t this series great? Nobody got hurt today. So that’s a nice little bonus.

Amazingly, despite losing six of seven over the past week, the Tigers still hold the best winning percentage in the American League, as Oakland was swept in Toronto this weekend. Incidentally, the Tigers are off to Oakland next. Something’s gotta give. The Tigers gave. Needless to say, they no longer hold the best winning percentage in the American League. The Tigers haven’t lost a series at the Coliseum since 2009. They’ll hope they can avoid the sewage. There was no sewage today. Unless you count how the Tigers played.

So that’s it. Turn the page on this week. A west coast trip isn’t ideal, but the Tigers will look to get back to their winning ways in Oakland. Maybe – just maybe – a few of their starters can go six innings or more without giving up five runs or more. Just a thought. Welp, didn’t happen today. Maybe tomorrow? Max Scherzer vs. Sonny Gray in a 10:05 PM start. Watch if you dare.

  • cestma

    Isn’t Sanchez due up yet?!

  • Ray Kohn

    Smyly is not a Starter; plus who is in charge? The starters get in trouble and Leyland is not coming out to the mound to settle the pitchers down or taking them out. No Tiger Manager comes out, so who is in charge? Did the Tiger hire a new manager? Cause it does not seem like it. Isn’t Tony LaRousa available?

  • Larry

    I agree with Ray Kohn, in the fact that Smyly isn’t a starter. His last couple of outings have been terrible and while he typically throws strikes, I don’t think his stuff is good enough for 6 – 7 innings. There’s probably a few things going on here that needs attention, but from my perspective, I don’t think the pitchers are nearly aggressive enough. NOBODY is pitching inside!!! Verlander, Max, Sanchez and even Porcello. They got off to a great start, but nobody on this staff is making hitters uncomfortable!! The Tigers aren’t just losing a bunch of games right now, they’re getting bombed!!! The offense may not be putting up a lot of runs, but when they’re down by 3 or 4 after 2 innings, I can see where they start pressing a bit. These starters need to stop buying into the earlier hype of this staff and team as a whole and start pitching with a little nastiness in their approach.

  • Mr. Meeseeks

    Has anyone else noticed that after the Boston series the strike zone has been pretty unfavorable. Seems like the tigers pitchers are not getting the close calls and the opposing pitchers are getting strikes called that are well outside the zone. It might just be me being butt hurt that the tigers a looking so bad. who knows.

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