When the Detroit Tigers do not feel like playing, they really don’t show up.
Of course, every member of the team will say “we tried our best,” but too often lately when the team gets down, they disengage and look embarrassingly uninterested in competing. Less than 24 hours after claiming a big victory over hard-to-beat Felix Hernandez, the Tigers appeared to be happy with their one win in the series and laid an egg, dropping this one 8-1, to lose the series and fall back out of a playoff spot and 1.5 games behind Kansas City in the AL Central.
Robbie Ray is not helping to calm the fears of fans who miss Doug Fister. While it is way too soon to anoint Ray and Ian Krol as “failures” or “busts,” it is safe to say, at least for this year, the Tigers have lost that deal.
Ray struggled through the first inning, allowing two Seattle runs. Perhaps this is when the Tigers disengaged? Hard to tell, but they knew they’d need an A+ effort from their rookie starter to compete with Mariners’ starter Chris Young and they did not get it. Ray ended up allowing four runs for the second straight start, allowing seven hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Jim Johnson was promoted before this game after a decent stint in Toledo and was very shaky. Though he was not helped out by his defense, the former Athletic closer allowed three runs, two earned, in just 2/3 of an inning.
The Tigers offense went flat, which is not very surprising given what has transpired in the season’s second half, however in winning six of their previous seven games at Comerica Park, the team had been scoring runs there, averaging 5.4 runs per game over that span.
The only player that seemingly had interest in the game was Rajai Davis, who had three stolen bases and was stranded on third base twice. Then fate smiled on him by removing him from the game due to injury when he suffered a left thumb contusion and is listed as day-to-day.
The Tigers will take a much-needed day off on Monday before heading out on the road beginning Tuesday with seven games in six days looming. Their first stop is St. Petersburg to face Drew Smyly and the Tampa Bay Rays and then up to Minnesota for four games, including a Saturday day-night double-header.