Detroit Tigers: Just When You Thought They Couldn’t Allow MORE Runs
On Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers lost to the minor league Washington Nationals by a score of 9-1. Today, it was even worse.
The Detroit Tigers lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 11-1.
Yes, you read that correctly.
In two days, the Tigers have given up 20 runs. Yes, it’s only spring training. But, come on. Twenty runs. In two games. Little League scores aren’t usually this bad. And these are professional baseball players. (Nothing against Little Leaguers). Check out today’s box score here – if you dare.
What was the culprit this time? It wasn’t Mike Pelfrey or Myles Jaye. Today, it was even worse: Justin Verlander and Chad Bell. When it was Mike Pelfrey, the high score was understandable. But when Verlander is on the mound, the score should be in the Tigers’ favor.
In today’s game, Verlander gave up two home runs and a total of three runs. Chad Bell, who followed Verlander, gave up an additional five runs including a Grand Slam by Jordy Mercer. The ninth run was another home run given up by Logan Kensing. Then, near the end of the game, Blaine Hardy gave up two more runs. Every single run was recorded as an earned run. Ouch.
While this score was another mighty embarrassment, spring training is a time for players to work on their “stuff” and get the kinks out. According to Jason Beck with MLB.com, Verlander was doing just that. He told Beck:
"“I would be more worried if every spring start was perfect than the other way around. Typical, but at this point, body felt good, arm feels good, slider and changeup need quite a bit of work, location needs some work.”"
Verlander also reported to Beck that he was happy with his pitches, despite the score of the game. Beck reported in the same piece that Verlander reached 95 MPH on his fastball today. This is a silver lining in the storm cloud that is raining home runs against the Tigers.
Believe it or not, there was one more silver lining to the routing today. Yesterday, only one starter earned a hit. Today, most of them either got on base or earned a walk. Miguel Cabrera went two for three, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez each had a hit. And J.D. Martinez walked. Unfortunately, none of them could get all the way around.
But, the best part of the day came from Justin Upton who scored his first home run of spring training.
Also unlike yesterday, the opposing team brought their best. Familiar names like Josh Harrison, Mercer, Andrew McCutcheon, and Francisco Cervelli all had plate appearances (and hits) today. But, one of the biggest stars of the show for the Pirates was minor leaguer Jose Osuna, who is currently carrying a .545 BA.
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What is frustrating about the Tigers giving up so many runs is that they are not getting many. The opposing teams are also working on skills at the plate and on the mound. Yet, they can still manage to put the ball in play and learn what it’s like to cross home plate. While spring training statistics do not foreshadow the play during the season, it still would be nice to see the Tigers play to win.
One more frustration…this time on the fight for center field. Former Tampa Bay Ray Mikie Mahtook has yet to get a hit in eight at-bats. And, don’t even get me started on Steven Moya.
Next: Tigers Embarrassed by Minor League Washington Nationals
I just really want to see some consistent and good baseball. Or at least a competitive game.