The Detroit Tigers made sleep deprivation worthwhile for those fans that could brave the 10:10PM EST west coast start on Monday as they pounded the Seattle Mariners 12-5.
Most fans looked at the Miguel Cabrera less, Alfredo Simon full lineup and chose to go to bed instead of enduring the late night battle. I know I chose to go to bed in the top of fourth when the Tigers were up 3-0 knowing very well that Simon and the Tigers weren’t going to hold the lead.
For those of you that chose to watch part of the game like me, go to bed early or watch delayed here’s what you missed:
Nick Castellanos homered in the second inning. In the fourth inning – Victor Martinez homered. J.D. Martinez hit his 24th homer of the year (back to back after Victor in the fourth). All of which came off of struggling Mariners’ starter Hisashi Iwakuma.
Alfredo Simon looked nothing but his usual shaky self through the first three innings. The Seattle Mariners finally got to him in the bottom of the fourth and seized their opportunities scoring two. The added more damage in the bottom of the fifth with a three run Logan Morrison home run giving them a 5-3 lead erasing the early homers by the Tigers and knocking Simon out of the game early again.
I woke back up around the top of the sixth to see the score 5-5 with the Tigers having bases loaded. The Tigers exploded off Iwakuma and relievers Mayckol Guaipe and David Rollins in the fifth and sixth innings for an additional seven runs giving them ample room for the bullpen to cruise the remainder of the game.
Yoenis Cespedes started the rally off with another solo home run off Iwakuma in the sixth closing the gap to 5-4. Cespedes making a bid for the final All Star bid blasted the ball 432-feet to center field. Castellanos added his second and third RBI with a single in the sixth off Guaipe. Andrew Romine added an RBI with a bases loaded single giving the Tigers a 7-5 lead. All Star Jose Iglesias grounded into a force out with the bases loaded adding cushion to the lead and capping a five run sixth inning.
All Star J.D. Martinez wasn’t done for the night adding an RBI off a single in the top of the seventh. Castellanos added yet another RBI in the seventh inning off a single making the game 10-5 and loading the bases. Andrew Romine again with the bases loaded seized the opportunity driving in his second RBI on another single.
The Tigers offense exploded for nineteen hits and twelve runs in the opening effort against the Mariners. Castellanos lead the offense going 4 for 5 with four RBI. Castellanos broke out of his season long slump and recent benching on the Tigers’ home stand hitting .345. Victor Martinez also had four hits going 4 for 5 with an RBI, J.D. Martinez went 3 for 5 with two RBI.
The two hidden story lines in the buried in the offensive explosion were the continued poor pitching of Big Pasta Simon and the nice bullpen effort of the Tigers. Simon improving to an 8-5 record on the season made it just 5.2 innings in his outing again throwing 109 pitches, allowing five runs and eight hits. The Tigers starters between the struggling Justin Verlander, Alfredo Simon and missing fifth arm are not giving Tigers fans much hope. The bullpen lead by Blaine Hardy, Ian Krol and Bruce Rondon pitched impressively with 3.1 one hit scoreless innings.
With such poor starting performances, a Miggy less lineup is going to have to continue to produce efforts like this to overcome deficits incurred early in a game. And the bullpen will also continue to need to perform heroics like this as well.
J.D. Martinez’s home run made him only the second Tiger to have 24 home runs by the All Star break in twenty-two years. The Other? Miguel Cabrera had 30 in his MVP year of 2013.
Nick Castellanos improved his average to .245 and has a seven game hitting streak going.