Coming into Tuesday night’s game, there were mixed feelings about the Detroit Tigers as they faced the Kansas City Royals. The Royals were on an 8 game win streak and were only a half game back of the Tigers after pummeling Justin Verlander. The Tigers’ struggles have been well documented of late, which didn’t help the feelings. The main beacon of light entering the game was Max Scherzer who was coming off of his first ever shutout against the Chicago White Sox.
Scherzer starting the game off well, retiring the side in order in the first inning in 10 pitches. In the second inning, everything fell apart for Scherzer.
It took 39 pitches, 7 runs, and 9 batters into the inning, Scherzer finally recorded his first out. Billy Butler started the inning with a single and advanced to second on an error from J.D. Martinez. The error did not prove costly, because Alex Gordon followed with the first two-run home run of the inning. This was followed by a Salvador Perez walk and the second two-run home run of the inning hit this time by Mike Moustakas. Alcides Escobar, Jarrod Dyson, Nori Aoki, and Omar Infante all singled to add the fifth and sixth runs of the inning. The seventh and final run was added on the first out of the inning on a fielder’s choice by Eric Hosmer. Scherzer’s pitch count in the inning was 51, the first Tiger to throw more than 50 pitches since Steve Sparks in 2002.
Scherzer got through the third and fourth innings unscathed, but did not last through the fifth. Butler hit another single, Gordon doubled, and Perez hit a single to end Scherzer’s night. Phil Coke came on and allowed Perez to score after Gordon was erased on a fielder’s choice. The Royals added another run in the fifth which gave them 10 for the night and complete Scherzer’s final line: 4+ IP, 10 H, 10 ER, 1 BB, 5 K’s on 93 pitches.
Evan Reed gave the Tigers two innings of one run ball giving up an RBI single to Lorenzo Cain who came on for Aoki who hurt his groin in the 2nd inning. He has thrown 54 pitched in the last two days and looks like he really doesn’t have much left right now, but there aren’t many other options that could do much better.
The Tigers got two runs back and put the first four men on in the bottom half of the second against Yorando Ventura after the long inning, but then were retired in order. The Tigers threatened in the fifth and scratched across a run on a bases loaded walk to Miguel Cabrera before a play that perfectly sums up the last month of Tigers baseball. A 100 mph wild pitch hit the backstop and caromed perfectly back to the catcher Perez who threw out Eugenio Suarez at third while he was trying to score on the play.
The Tigers added one more run in the 8th with an Ian Kinsler home run, but it was way too little, way too late.
The Kansas City Royals have taken over first place in the AL Central. Go ahead and let that sink in for a bit. In the meantime, here is your weird stat of the day via Chris Iott: Max Scherzer gave up the same amount of runs tonight that Joe Nathan gave up in all of 2013.