Tigers’ inconsistencies shine through in doubleheader split.
The Detroit Tigers split a doubleheader with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday at Comerica Park. There were some positives to take away from this twin bill, but there are still quite a few negatives. Here are three observations from Wednesday’s action:
Game 1- Defense finally shines, bullpen shuts the door again
Pitching and defense was the story of the first game. Michael Pineda and Pittsburgh’s Dillon Peters dueled through the first four innings as neither team could get on the board.
Javier Baez’s stellar defense was on display, making two dazzling plays early on, including flipping the ball through his legs to get the force out at second base in the second inning.
Pineda wasn’t very efficient through 4.1 innings, throwing 85 pitches before being relieved by Alex Lange, who promptly gave up a 2-run triple to Ben Gamel.
While the Tigers’ defense had a great day, the Pirates’ defense did not. Two errors in the fifth inning proved to be the difference, with two runs scoring on a fielding error by Ke’Bryan Hayes to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. The bullpen did the rest, again.
Jacob Barnes, Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer, and Gregory Soto combined for four scoreless innings as the Tigers’ bullpen continues to get the job done. It was nice to see the Tigers take advantage of their bullpen’s performance for once.
Game 2- Bullpen finally falters, offense continues to sputter
The storyline in game 2 was Alex Faedo’s debut. The former first-round pick finally got his first crack at big league hitters, and while he wasn’t spectacular, he did enough to keep his team in the game.
For all the talk of how good the Tigers’ bullpen has been, they finally ran into a bit of a snag. Drew Hutchison walked three in over an inning of work, then Will Vest came in and allowed both of his inherited runners to score.
Then in the ninth inning, Joe Jimenez got hit around for three runs, including a two-run homer by Dan Vogelbach.
It’s easy to blame the bullpen for this loss, but it’s hard to win scoring only two runs. It feels like we’ve been saying that a lot lately.
Candelario finding his swing
Jeimer Candelario went 4-for-7 in the doubleheader with two doubles. This is coming off the heels of Sunday’s game in Los Angeles where he hit his first home run of the season. It appears he may finally be breaking out of his early season slump, which is huge for this lineup.