Jul 1, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (31) in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers lost the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday Night, which technically ended early Wednesday Morning, after almost six hours of baseball. Wednesday Night’s contest looked like most of the team wanted to stay in bed, as the Tigers lost, 9-3, to the Pirates.
The Tigers desperately needed starter Alfredo Simon to take care of some serious innings, since last night’s fourteen inning loss used every arm in the bullpen. With team MVP Alex Wilson unavailable, and only having situational left handed relievers, the pressure for Simon to make it deep in the game was crucial. Kind of like the Tigers season thus far, it didnt quite go as planned.
The first inning for Simon took over twenty pitches to complete, but he kept the Pirates from crossing home. It was the third inning, however, when things began to fall apart. Simon gave up a lead-off double to Josh Harrison, followed up by Tiger-Killer Neil Walker‘s homerun to right to make it 2-1 Pittsburgh. 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen got in the mix with a single, before being driven home after a Pedro Alvarez ground rule double and Francisco Cervelli fielders choice. Alvarez would later score on a Gregory Polanco single, and finally Polanco crossed home plate himself, after a rare throwing error by Jose Iglesias. After it was all said and done the Pirates scored five runs in the third.
Simon allowed a whopping 15 hits, while striking out seven over 5.2 innings on 109 pitches. He was credited for a six run, after he was pulled for Al Alburquerque, who allowed a runner to score on a wild pitch. As usual, the Tigers offense was nowhere to be found, and it was too big of a deficit to come back from.
Nick Castellanos drove in the first run of the game for Detroit off Buc’s rejuvenated starter A.J. Burnett, but that was basically it. Burnett, who almost quit baseball after a disastrous 2014 with the Philadelphia Phillies, has been one of the best pitchers in baseball so far season, and showed off why Wednesday Night. Coming in with a 2.01 ERA, Burnett was phenomanal yet again. Throwing first pitch strikes and hitting all corners of the plate, Burnett went seven innings, allowing seven hits, two runs and walking nobody. He also struck out four. The second run allowed by A.J. came in the sixth inning, when Victor Martinez scored of a Yoenis Cespedes ground out.
The real fun of the night, came in the top of the eighth inning, when Joba Chamberlain started tossing batting practice to the Pirates hitters. Neil Walker hit his second home run of the game to get the party started. Two batters later, Starling Marte and Alvarez hit back-to-back monster home runs, making the score 9-2. Joba Chamberlain may have thrown his last pitches as a Detroit Tiger.
Catcher James McCann hit a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth for the Tigers, for the games final score.
The Tigers attempt to stop the bleeding Thursday Afternoon, as hard throwing Francisco Liriano (4-6 3.21 ERA) takes on Kyle Ryan in the interleague series finale. The game begins at 1:08 EST.