Gm 16 Analysis: Offense Sputters in 5-1 Loss

While it wasn't a banner day for Brad Penny on the mound, the bigger concern coming from Sunday's game was once again the quiet offense as the Tigers weren't able to get much going at the plate.

The Skinny

The story of the young season hasn't been written yet, and that's likely because depending on the day, a different facet of the game could be driving the story.

After this weekend, it's most certainly the sputtering offense, which managed just one run on five hits in the club's 5-1 loss to Oakland on Sunday afternoon as they walked away with a series split.

Brad Penny was far from perfect, especially after the fourth inning. Penny was cruising up until that point, at which time he seemed to lose his command, and ended up loading the bases, walking in a run and then giving up a two run single with two outs to give Oakland a comfortable lead.

Penny allowed a leadoff double to start the sixth, who would later score, and that was the end of the game for him.

Meanwhile the offense was unable to do much of anything, with the lone run coming off the bat of Casper Wells, who hit a no-doubter home run to left field in the sixth inning. The other four hits were all singles, scattered over different innings.

The Star

On a night where there wasn't much to highlight, the star of the game has to be the only player that truly had a shining moment; Casper Wells. Wells had just one hit, but it was the only run generating hit of the day, and also his first home run of the season.

Key AB's Of The Game

Bottom 5, Brad Penny (RHP) vs. Conor Jackson (RHB)
At this point, the bases were loaded and Penny was trying to keep it a one run game. He had already had multiple chances to get out of the inning, but he hit David DeJesus with a pitch and then walked Daric Barton to load them up. Penny was consistently working from behind in the count, starting the at-bat off with a fastball in the dirt that was luckily stopped by Alex Avila. Penny returned to the four seamer on the next pitch and got a strike to even the count, but then tossed his sinker and couldn't get a swing, falling back behind 2-1. He returned to the fastball and got a called strike on a very close pitch, and then tried to get a swing and a miss with his curveball (it was fouled off). The pitch let Jackson know what Penny had though, and the next pitch was the curve again, which Jackson knew to take, making the count full. At this point, Penny had only one choice, since it was the only pitch he could throw for a strike, and that was to return to his four seamer. Unfortunately, his command wasn't there, the pitch was off the plate, and he walked in a run. The very next pitch, Josh Willingham would rip a two run single and the Tigers were now in a hole.

Top 8, Trevor Cahill (RHP) vs. Casper Wells (RHB)
Casper had already teed off on Cahill once, and after a leadoff single from Alex Avila, Casper stepped up to do it again. After belting a curveball, it was safe to say Cahill wouldn't be throwing another one of those, leaving him to the sinker/change-up conversation – also the added benefit of trying to induce a double play. Wells took the first sinker for a ball, then fouled off the second pitch to even the count at one. At 1-1, Cahill threw a change-up that Wells got out in front of, but still squared up, and hit a bullet, unfortunately, it went right at third baseman Andy LaRoche. LaRoche was able to glove it and flip to second to get the force, and though that was the only out they got, Will Rhymes would ground into a double play in the next at-bat to end whatever threat they had there. A good break for Cahill, as the ball could have easily gone down the line for a double, which would have quickly put him in a jam.

The Standings

7-9, 4th in the AL Central

Up Next

Detroit Tigers @ Seattle Mariners, Monday 4/18, 10:10PM
Max Scherzer (2-0, 4.76) vs. Jason Vargas (0-1, 4.86)

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