Detroit Tigers: Game vs. Blue Jays Isn’t the End of the World
When a group of unknown Detroit Tigers pitchers battle against the reigning AL East champions, the outcome should not come as much of a surprise.
However, when the Tigers hit against pitchers who have ERAs above four, fans expect a pretty good show. There was some weak pitching along with a serious hitting show on the field today, but none of it was in the Tigers’ favor.
The Blue Jays completely blew away the Detroit Tigers in a 16-1 game full of home runs, big hits, and unfortunate defense.
Despite the utter blowout, the world is still spinning and baseball will be played again. The Tigers just came off of a seven-game winning streak and now they are on a two-game losing streak. In most of the games, at least one player hit a home run or something bigger than a single. The Tigers have shown themselves to be much better than the outcome of this game.
The pitching was abysmal, but so was the hitting. Things did not get off to a good start as Daniel Norris allowed three runs while only getting one out. It is clear that he has struggled during spring training, which is a good sign that he is not ready to pitch in the rotation. His day could have been very different, but back tightness does not make pitching an easy task to master.
During spring training, Norris has earned an ERA 9.95 and a WHIP over 2.53. He has only pitched in six innings in four games and three starts. His biggest competition, Shane Greene, has clearly proven himself to be more ready for opening day with an ERA of 2.63 and a 1.17 WHIP. He, too, has pitched in four games, started in two of them, but has managed to throw in 13.2 innings. Norris and Greene are also competing against Matt Boyd, who has also improved with each outing. He, like Greene, has pitched in 13.2 innings but has an ERA of 3.29 and a WHIP of 1.10. Norris has most likely been eliminated from the list of pitchers eligible to be the fifth starter.
The next pitcher to come into the game was a true minor leaguer named Dustin Molleken. He was signed to a minor league contract with the Tigers in December of 2015. He’s pitched in three innings this spring training and he has not performed well. Other than three strike outs, he has an ERA of 10.13, which came from the three runs he allowed in the second inning. Since he’ll be in Toledo with the Triple-A Mud Hens, there is no reason to lose any sleep over his performance. Moving on.
The third and fourth innings saw responsible pitching from Jonathan Maciel – who has yet to pitch above Double-A -and from Mark Lowe. With Lowe striking out two and allowing one hit, Tigers fans can breathe easy knowing that the real relievers who will be stocking the bullpen can get the job done. Lowe’s performance was a highlight of the game where there were very few highlights.
If allowing six runs in two innings wasn’t bad enough, Bobby Parnell allowed five more. But, he won’t be in Detroit, so, meh.
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Once Parnell did his damage, Bruce Rondon came in and avoided allowing any runs to score in the sixth. He did allow a pair of hits and a walk, but the three strikeouts were welcomed by teammates and fans alike. The last three pitchers, Kyle Ryan, Whit Mayberry, and Warwick Saupold were simply guys that filled innings. The damage was done.
The old saying that “hitting is contagious” came true for the Blue Jays. The leadoff batter and the second batter, Kevin Pillar and Josh Donaldson along with their replacements in the late innings, had a combined total of 14 at-bats, showing just how bad the beating was to the Tigers.
Despite the Blue Jays utter domination over the Tigers offensively and defensively, there is no reason to panic. Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, Ian Kinsler, and company will continue to be dominating at the plate. The veteran pitchers will throw strikes and the team will win games. Daniel Norris will find relief in his back, Victor Martinez will get that left leg figured out, and Alex Wilson‘s shoulder will heal.
Next: Possible Replacements for Victor Martinez
As much as we, the fans, would like to see the Tigers have a 162-0 season, we know it isn’t going to happen. Even the best have a bad day every now and then.
Read more editorials about your favorite team at Motor City Bengals.