box) After allowing only two hits through eight innings, Boston sta..."/> box) After allowing only two hits through eight innings, Boston sta..."/> box) After allowing only two hits through eight innings, Boston sta..."/>

Tigers Lose in Walkoff Fashion for Second Straight Day


Boston 4, Detroit 3 (box)

After allowing only two hits through eight innings, Boston starter Clay Buchholz came out in the ninth to finish what he started. He proceeded to give up an infield single to Will Rhymes and a walk to Ryan Raburn in front of slugger Miguel Cabrera. With a three run lead and two runners on, Sox Manager Terry Francona brought in the closer, Jonathan Papelbon, but he was no match for Cabrera, who rocketed a double to deep center field. Rhymes and Raburn scored on the play, closing the gap to one, but the Tigers wouldn’t stop there. Two batters later, Jhonny Peralta singled, scoring pinch runner Don Kelly, and the game was tied.

I allowed myself to believe that the Tigers were about to repay Boston’s late inning heroics from the night before, but my dreams were quickly squashed. Rookie Jeff Frazier stepped up to the plate and grounded into a double play to end the inning. My morale took another quick hit when reliever Brad Thomas stayed in the game to pitch in the bottom of the ninth. I know the bullpen situation was dire, but when Brad Thomas is your best ninth inning option in a tied game, you’re in trouble. Big trouble. (More trouble after the jump)

Thomas allowed a single and a walk, while failing to record an out, and Jim Leyland was forced to call on the game’s appointed closer: rookie Robbie Weinhardt. Marco Scutaro stepped into the batters box with the job of sacrificing the lead runner over to third base. Scutaro layed down a dandy of a bunt, which Weinhardt scrambled to field. He would have had to hurry to get Scutaro, but he rushed his throw too much and sent it wide of first base. Darnell McDonald would walk home easily to end the game.

Tigers’ starter Justin Verlander pitched well (7 IP, 3 ER, 8 K), but the new name of the game for starting pitchers is shutouts. It seems that’s what they’re going to need to record the win. The Detroit starting pitchers combined for a 2.50 ERA this weekend, but couldn’t come away with a single win. Part of that’s due to a freak line drive off the bat of (hated) Kevin Youkilis that ended Armando Galarraga‘s outing an out too soon, but Scherzer and Verlander both pitched well enough to win their respective games too. Starting pitching was the weak point of the team in the early goings of the year, but now it seems to be one of the (few) strengths. Hope is all but lost for this year, but it’s still nice to see some bright spots poke through.

Next up for the Tigers is a four game series with the White Sox, beginning with a double-header on Tuesday. If the club wants to tease us into belief, they’ll need to take at least three of the four games. I’m not holding my breath.