4-2, 1st in AL Central
The Tigers lost their first one run game of the season on Tuesday night, which was bound to happen eventually given the hot mess of a bullpen they employ. A few more runs would've been nice as the club saw another quality start go by the wayside completely unrewarded, but such is life. The Tigers offense had five hits all night and two of them improbably came against Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning (more on that later). They didn't get it done, Torii Hunter is hurting, and Brad Ausmus still has zero road wins.
News and Notes
- First mistake of the game came in the top of the first. After a Rajai Davis single, stolen base, and well placed ground ball by Ian Kinsler, the Tigers had a scoring opportunity. With Davis on third and just one out, Hunter grounded out weakly to Dodgers starter Dan Haren, who was excellent in his six innings (3 H 1 BB 4 K). Miguel Cabrera grounded out to third to end the inning. Tigers threaten but do not score. Ugh.
- In the bottom of the first, Dee Gordon of all people took Max Scherzer deep. REALLY, Max? Dee Gordon? Shouldn't you be knocking the bat out of his hands instead of giving up homers? What is this sorcery? In all seriousness, though, Scherzer forced Gordon to hit a homer. He threw a fastball down and in with two strikes to Gordon, a left-handed hitter, after shaking off what was almost certainly an offspeed suggestion from Alex Avila. There's probably no other pitch that Gordon can hit out, but you went and threw him a silly fastball there anyway. In a similar situation in the future, put more on it than 92 mph.
- Austin Jackson hit a home run for the only run the Tigers actually got against Haren, but his most notable play of the game came in the field in the seventh. Justin Turner hit a sacrifice fly to center and instead of getting set and making a decent throw back to the infield Jackson just sort of spazzed and vomited the ball back in allowing Juan Uribe to make it to third. He earned that first error of the season.
- Don Kelly replaced Hunter in right field after Torii hurt his knee sliding into the wall going for a foul ball in the second inning. He is considered day-to-day (aren't we all?) with a left knee contusion. Good news is that Hunter felt he could stay in the game for a few innings before leaving in the fifth. Also of note, Kelly completely wiped out against the wall on Uribe's double in the seventh. There's the hilarious Donnie Kelly we know. Still got the ball back to the infield in a timely fashion.
- Joba Chamberlain and Phil Coke are awful. This isn't breaking news, it's just today's news. In extra innings, you can't walk the leadoff man. Joba did. Two batters later the game was over after Carl Crawford doubled against Coke. The only out recorded in the 10th was a popped up bunt. Great job, boys.
- Scherzer and Avila combined for a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out in the second. Hanley Ramirez struck out and Crawford, who got no jump on Scherzer, was a dead duck at second. One of the most positive plays in the game for the Tigers, really.
- Kinsler and VMart rallied in the ninth against Jansen, which was really nice to see even though the Tigers ended up losing. Kins doubled on a line to center to leadoff the inning and with two outs Martinez singled to tie the game. Good stuff, though if Kelly had just hit a ground ball to the right side the Tigers wouldn't have even needed a base hit to tie it. Look at me, talking about fundamentals. Oh boy.
- My favorite exchange between Mario and Rod on FSD was about Gordon's speed. Rod said Gordon gets down the line in 3.75 seconds. Mario, "That's Rod Allen speed." Rod, "NO WAY." Amazing.
Around the Org Scores
AAA Toledo Mud Hens
2-3, 3rd in West Division
AA Erie Seawolves
2-2, 2rd in Western Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers
3-2, t-1st in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps
3-2, t-5th in North Division
About the Daily Smoko
Smoko is an Australian and New Zealand term for a short cigarette break during work. It can also describe a short coffee or tea break. TigsTown does not condone or support smoking, but it is a nice way to honor former manager Jim Leyland, and have you guys read recaps while you should probably be working.
Nick Shlain is TigsTown's staff writer and resident eccentric. He survived both the Randy Smith and Jim Leyland eras. You can follow him on twitter @electricsnuff