Unproven Closer Chamberlain Rocked As Tigers Lose Heartbreaker

The Tigers looked poised to sweep the season series from Boston on Sunday night until David Ortiz (that guy again) stunned Joba Chamberlain in the 9th with a three-run homer to give Boston a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over Detroit.

THE GOOD

  • Phil Coke, believe it or not. In fact, until Ortiz’s homer, the headline of this recap was gonna be “Tigers Get Cokey Goin’, Sweep Red Sox.” He was hardly efficient but he managed to pull through an inning and a third, retiring Ortiz in a tie game with runners at the corners, getting himself into an eighth inning jam, and getting himself out of it by striking out Jackie Bradley Jr. It was far from pretty, but it was effective enough.
  • Eugenio Suarez. The rookie got his second start and had a pair of RBI singles. Temper your enthusiasm – he’s young and it’s two games – but production from the shortstop position sure is a nice change of pace.
  • Anibal Sanchez. Tons of foul balls meant he only got six innings, but he struck out seven and allowed just two runs. He continues to be the Tigers’ best pitcher.

THE BAD

  • Joba Chamberlain. It’s unfair to bury Joba because he’s been so great over his last 15 or so appearances, but he simply did not have it tonight, and it’s a pity he picked tonight – a night he was given ninth inning duties with Joe Nathan unavailable. For whatever reason, he threw virtually no fastballs, and the leadoff single he gave up to Brock Holt was nothing more than a perfectly-placed ground ball. But walking Dustin Pedroia after getting ahead of him 0-2 was a huge blow, and he hung a slider to David Ortiz, and Ortiz did what he tends to do to hanging sliders.
  • Most of the offense. John Lackey was good tonight, but the Tigers didn’t push him past 100 pitches until the eighth inning. It was pretty light work for him for most of the evening.
  • Miguel Cabrera left early. The Tigers said it was hamstring tightness and he’s day-to-day. Does not seem too terribly serious, but frightening nonetheless.

Tough loss, but a big two weeks are coming up for Detroit as they’ll get their chance to put some distance back between themselves and the rest of the division – their next 14 are against the AL Central. It starts in Chicago tomorrow night.

(By the way, any chance we can give the Red Sox the same plane we got trying to leave Boston? Just…wondering.)

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