Detroit Tigers Squander Opportunities and Lose to Milwaukee 3-2
By Steve Mitzel
You could feel the intensity squeezing out of the balloon from this weekend’s matchup of two of the top in baseball teams when the Detroit Tigers played the lowly Milwaukee Brewers Monday night at Comerica Park.
Brad Ausmus reverted back to the less potent battling lineup with Victor Martinez hitting cleanup Monday night. The lack of creativity in Ausmus’ decision making certainly showed with the offense coming to a screeching halt.
Over the four games that Victor rested last week, the Tigers averaged fourteen hits and seven runs in his absence. And interestingly, Miguel Cabrera hit .444 (8-18), four home runs, nine RBI and J.D. Martinez hit.400 (6 -15), one home run and an RBI.
Instead Ausmus went back to the still slumping Victor Martinez in cleanup and the bats fell quiet for the Tigers against a struggling Milwaukee team and pitching staff. Cabrera and J.D hit for a combined 1-7.
Kyle Lobstein pitched nearly seven solid innings of six hit and two run baseball when he allowed a hit with two outs to Martin Maldonado giving the Brewers runners on first and second. Ausmus looking confused on the steps of the dugout decided to leave Kyle in the game even though he had Angel Nesbitt warmed and ready to go. The skipper’s indecision cost him the go ahead run when Carlos Gomez singled in Luis Sardinas giving Milwaukee a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers never took the lead back and lost the opener. Victor Martinez squashed a great eighth inning opportunity with Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera on first and second when he hit into a double play and seemingly tweaked his injured left knee nearly beating the the throw.
The Tigers regroup and play game two of the series against the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:08PM at Comerica Park with Jimmy Nelson facing Anibal Sanchez.
JV: No matter what happened at the park tonight, the most important news was what happened before the game when Justin Verlander pitched a 45-pitch session in the bullpen. JV has a simulated game and a rehab start to complete before he returns but he is on track.
“Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” – Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez homered on his first at bat Monday night after being hit in the head by a 96 mile per hour fastball on Sunday in the game against the New York Mets.
Cespedes for the Rest Of Us: Yoenis Cespedes got a much deserved rest on Monday. The Tigers denied that he was injured after making a diving catch in Saturday’s game where he jammed his wrist. The Tigers, though, have denied or not been clear about most injuries this year and we’ll believe them that it was just a rest.
Greene Light: Shane Greene also tossed in the bullpen and will make his regular start on Thursday after leaving the game on Friday night with some tingling in his fingers. Greene blamed the sensation on having to bat.