Detroit Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey took the rubber in search of his first win. His win column still has a goose egg in it, but Detroit completed a sweep of the struggling Twins with a 6-5 comeback win.
Detroit Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey is what he is at this point. You should not be happy with it but you should come to expect it and Sunday’s start was no different from any of Pelfrey’s others in 2016.
The former Twins starter had a rough first inning, followed by a decent second, third and fourth inning. He finished up with a rocky fifth against his old team. Pelfrey did however get his first two runs in support of his poor performance after not having a single run scored for him for the entire month of April.
This was a great game for Brad Ausmus haters. After Mike Pelfrey dug the Tigers into a hole and left them trailing by three runs it took a two out rally in the sixth inning to put the Tigers back into this game. Ricky Nolasco was laboring. After giving up two hits in the top of the sixth, Minnesota manager Paul Molitor began scrambling to get guys warming up in the bullpen.
Trying to allow his starter to get him out of the sixth inning Molitor left Nolasco in the game one batter too long. Nick Castellanos was able to wait on a 3-2 breaking ball and drive it over the left field wall, tying the game and ending Nolasco’s start.
For anyone out there who hates on Ausmus, specifically his mismanagement of the bullpen, your gripe is still valid but let it be known other managers make the same mistakes. Molitor is in no way a Hall of Fame manager just yet, and comparing he and Ausmus is comparing one bad manager to another, but Tigers fans know have seen first hand the management issues are not exclusive to Detroit.
So how did they get to the point where a three run homer was not enough to put the game away? It was a classic Mike Pelfrey outing.
Pelfrey walked two batters three batters in his four inning start. Two of those walks would result in runs scored against Pelfrey proving once more his inability to consistently throw strikes would cost him.
He was also not able to get out of the fifth inning, making way for Kyle Ryan after surrendering a walk to Byung-ho Park. His final line read four innings pitched, five earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts.
Kyle Ryan did not have much to work with. Entering the game with the bases loaded is never easy especially for the inexperienced lefty Ryan who has only pitched with the bases loaded four times in his career. Ryan had the left on lefty match-up facing Oswaldo Arcia who was able to rope a single and cash in a run.
Victor Martinez continued to crush anything that was thrown his way. Entering Sunday’s game Victor was 6-9 with four extra base hits in this series. All he did Sunday was go 3-4 and add another double bringing his series average up to .692.
Without a doubt Nick Castellanos was the Detroit Tigers player of the game Sunday. If his three run game tying homer was not enough, he also had a sacrifice fly in the second inning to get the Tigers on the board.
Castellanos even showed his defense is improving by making a nice back handed snag deep to his right and making the long throw across the diamond for the out. While most third baseman may have made that play easily it was a play fans have not seen Castellanos make in the past. That’s right, that is the American League batting leader Nick Castellanos.
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Alex Wilson pitched a scoreless sixth inning after giving up one run in the fifth. Mark Lowe pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Wilson. Tigers fans have got to love having a quality bullpen.
After fans heard yesterday injured catcher James McCann could join the team Tuesday in Cleveland, Jarrod Saltalamacchia made sure it would be difficult to take him out of the lineup. Salty has done an outstanding job filling in for the Tigers and his go-ahead RBI double, all be it a little lucky, was the one that completed the sweep.
The only impressive baserunning moment of the game was Justin Upton scoring from first on the double even though he would have likely been thrown out had Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar not dropped the relay throw. A run is still a run no matter how lucky it was
Justin Wilson completed his twelfth consecutive scoreless outing in the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez slammed the door on the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. After trying to stretch a double into a triple, Miguel Sano ended the game by getting thrown out my J.D. Martinez at third base. An exciting way to end a great series. The Tigers won the final game of the series 6-5 thanks to some timely hitting.
As the team looks to keep rolling they also look to get healthier. Winners of six of the team’s last seven games, the Tigers are on roll and are expecting to get James McCann back for the series in Cleveland. Daniel Norris and Shane Greene could be on their way back to Detroit after battling injuries which could leave the Tigers with a log jam in their starting rotation. Health is never a bad thing as the now 14-10 Detroit Tigers will look to keep on rolling.