Detroit 5, Los Angeles 6 (box)
Hey, at least the Wings won, right?
I’ll be honest here, at 6-0 Angels, I went to bed. So I can’t tell you exactly what happened that the Tigers got back into the game, only to fall short in their comeback attempt. I can tell you that if a few things had gone differently in the first half of the game, the last few innings might have turned out differently.
The Tigers had a chance to take an early lead when Ryan Raburn tripled with one out in the second, but Gerald Laird and Adam Everett couldn’t bring him home. True, Laird hit an absolute rocket to third, something he would do again without success in his next at bat, but the Tigers have to find a way to score that run. They don’t get runners home from third with less than two outs nearly often enough.
Then of course, there was Porcello. Jason Beck has a great post on his blog with all sorts of juicy quotes concerning Porcello and his lack of good pitching so far this year, and I think he’s right. Porcello doesn’t sem like he’s too far away from where he needs to be, but when he makes a mistake, he is getting hit hard.
Porcello left too many pitches in the middle of the plate, too many sinkers that didn’t sink. This was especially evident in the second and again in the fifth.
Already down a run with two on in the second, Porcello left a slider over the heart of the dish that Howie Kendrick smoked for a two-run double. In the fifth, as the Angels were attempting to break away, a groundball could have ended the threat, but a sinker up to Hideki Matsui became a two-run double as well.
Once again, the Tigers offense didn’t arrive until the game was already lost. Scott Kazmir and his 90 mph fastball had the Tigers hitters chasing pitches up and out of the zone early. By the time they got to him, the game was out of hand.
Sure, they put together a nice rally to cut the lead to one, and they brought the winning run to the plate several times late, but this isn’t the Royals bullpen they were facing. Eventually, good teams will beat you if you let them. And the Tigers and Rick Porcello handed the Angels a lead that was far too big.
Cheers and Jeers after the jump.
- Miguel Cabrera- Cabrera’s three-run double brought the Tigers back to within one. He now has 17 RBI this season.
- Joel Zumaya- Zoom tossed two scoreless innings to keep the game close. He has yet to allow a run this year.
- Fu-Te Ni- Ni came into a tough situation with his team down six. He held the Angels right there and did his job, even overcoming what could have been a disastrous error by Austin Jackson.
- Jim Leyland- You know how I mentioned yesterday that Leyland was well aware of Ramon Santiago’s career numbers versus Kazmir? Perhaps I gave him too much credit as Santiago didn’t enter the game until after Kazmir had left. Maybe it would not have made a difference, but you have to put players in a position to succeed. Santiago was in no position to do so on the bench.
- Scot Shields- Remember when this guy was good? Shields was terrible last year before being shut down with injury and last night he walked the bases loaded ahead of Cabrera’s double.
- Rick Porcello- Porcello has now allowed 23 hits and 11 earned runs in 15.2 innings this season. Porcello was supposed to be part of a strong rotation that has looked anything but so far, Max Scherzer excepted of course.
What’s on tap?
The Tigers will try to avoid a third straight series loss, but they’ll need to win the next two to do so. Detroit turns to Jeremy Bonderman to try to halt the losing streak and to try to avoid falling below .500 for the first time this year. Bonderman was lit up for 10 runs (8 earned) in just four innings against Seattle in his last start, this after holding Cleveland to one run on one hit through five in his first outing.
His opposition will be Jared Weaver. Jeff’s little brother (maybe Jeff is Jared’s big brother, given Jared’s significantly greater success?) was been very good this year, going 2-0 in three starts. Weaver held the Blue Jays to two runs over seven frames last week. He is 2-2 career versus Detroit, but with an ERA north of seven.