Morning Rewind: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: Matt Boyd. Shaky early, Boyd settled in and gave the Tigers a strong performance. The southpaw went 7, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, while racking up 5 punch outs. In fact, Boyd probably should have just given up 2 runs, but a mental mistake by Jim Adduci put a runner on base that eventually came around to score. Boyd has been solid in all but one of his starts so far this season.

The Bad: The Tigers offense couldn’t solve their old friend, Mike Pelfrey, after a promising start to the game. The Tigers scored two early runs off Big Pelf and were threatening for more, but an inning ending double play snuffed out the threat. The Tigers didn’t muster much more off Pelfrey after that, though he only went 4.2 IP due to a rapidly mounting pitch count.

The Ugly: Nicholas Castellanos’ defensive deficit was on full display last night. While Castellanos usually makes the plays he can get to—the big knock on him, according to most defensive metrics, has always been his range—Castellanos booted three balls, including two in the eighth inning that helped the White Sox to the 7-3 win. It was particularly disheartening to see a player who seemed to be making strides on the infield have such a lousy game defensively. Castellanos, for his part, stood up to the media after the game and answered every question. This is just the kind of ugly night you have to put behind you, if you’re Castellanos, and hope it doesn’t repeat itself. If anyone can do it, it’s probably him.

Also ugly was Joe Jimenez’s rocky ninth inning. The young flamethrower struggled to start off the frame, allowing a couple add-on runs in the form of a 2 run homer to Tim Anderson. Jimenez relied heavily on his fastball early, which the Sox hitters were teeing off on, but eventually began mixing in his slider and changeup. (All three hits Jimenez allowed were off the fastball.) In fact, Joe threw 10 straight fastballs before finally going to his changeup. He was much more effective after he began mixing in his offspeed/breaking stuff.

It’s just another bump on the road for a promising prospect who still has much to learn as far as being a big leaguer is concerned. There’s also a very good reason the Tigers have moved him relatively slowly through the system and haven’t thrown him directly into the fire yet. Though Joe is as big league ready as any Tigers prospect, he also might benefit from going back to Toledo to work on refining and polishing his command and consistency (as well as regaining some confidence).

Game 22: White Sox (11-9) @ Tigers (11-10)

Tigers

SP: Matthew Boyd

2B: Ian Kinsler
CF: Tyler Collins
3B: Nicholas Castellanos
DH: Víctor Martínez
LF: Justin Upton
C: Alex Avila
RF: Jim Adduci
1B: John Hicks
SS: José Iglesias

White Sox

SP: Mike Pelfrey

DH: Tyler Saladino
SS: Tim Anderson
LF: Melky Cabrera
3B: Todd Frazier
RF: Avisaíl García
1B: Matt Davidson
2B: Yolmer Sánchez
C: Geovany Soto
CF: Leury García

Things of Note: BIG PELF, Y’ALL!

Norris Loses Control, Tigers Lose to M’s

This time it was the starting pitching, rather than the bullpen, that put the Tigers in a hole they couldn’t climb out of. Starter Daniel Norris, who was also celebrating his 24th birthday, struggled with fastball command all game and found himself on the bench in the fifth inning. Norris had problems commanding his fastball in the zone and appeared at times to be rushing his delivery and/or glaring balefully at his landing spot on the mound.

More after the cut!

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Game 20: Mariners (8-13) @ Tigers (11-8)

Seattle

SP: James Paxton

SS: Jean Segura
LF: Guillermo Heredia
2B: Robinson Canó
DH: Nelson Cruz
3B: Taylor Motter
1B: Danny Valencia
RF: Ben Gamel
C: Mike Zunino
CF: Jarrod Dyson

Detroit

SP: Daniel Norris

2B: Ian Kinsler
RF: Mikie Mahtook
3B: Nicholas Castellanos
DH: Victor Martinez
LF: Justin Upton
1B: John Hicks
C: James McCann
SS: Dixon Machado
CF: Andrew Romine

Tigers score 19 runs, still manage to make you hate them

The Detroit Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 19-9 on Tuesday night at Comerica Park, with their bullpen trying to see just how big a lead they could blow in the process. Some thoughts:

  • Remember when we were a little worried by the offense’s slow start? Obviously, a lineup prominently featuring Jim Adduci, Andrew Romine, and Tyler Collins probably isn’t going to be banging out 24 hits on a regular basis in games started by Felix Hernandez, but don’t question it now. Justin Upton hit a particularly impressive bomb, and James McCann actually managed to take Hernandez deep (though it’s safe to say the pitcher was not himself and lasted just two innings thanks to a “dead arm.”
  • Jordan Zimmermann wasn’t terribly impressive, and he couldn’t blame the weather this time.  He gave up 11 hits in six innings, good for five earned runs. He didn’t walk anyone, which was the good news, but his one strikeout was evidence of the fact that the guy didn’t miss many bats. You’d have liked to see at least seven out of him after being staked to such a huge lead.
  • That bullpen. I’m not sure what else to say other than it’s utterly unforgivable that so many guys had to be trotted out there to get outs with a double-digit lead. Shane Greene walked two and gave up two hits while only getting two outs. Kyle Ryan walked two and gave up a hit in an inning. Joe Jimenez walked two in two thirds of an inning, and Blaine Hardy walked one and gave up two hits in just a third of an inning. In total, the Tigers’ bullpen pitched three innings, all of them with an enormous lead, and allowed five hits and seven walks in those three innings. It was atrocious and the only one who pitched tonight who shouldn’t be ashamed of himself is Alex Wilson, who came in to get one out and did so in characteristically controlled fashion. He and Justin Wilson are the only two trustworthy relievers right now.
  • It wasn’t Brad Ausmus’s fault, for what it’s worth. The fault lies with the pitchers themselves, who had no excuse for failing that badly in zero-pressure situations, and the folks who put together a bullpen with zero depth to speak of. Some of these guys don’t belong on a big league roster, but there just isn’t anybody better in the system lying around, so here they are.
  • Ultimately, the good outweighed the bad by about ten runs — but it’s amazing that this team can put up 19 runs and 24 hits and still manage to leave a sour taste in your mouth.

The series continues Wednesday in a battle of hard-throwing lefties: James Paxton vs. Daniel Norris.

Game 19: Mariners @ Tigers

Seattle Mariners

SP: Felix Hernandez

SS: Jean Segura
RF: Mitch Haniger
2B: Robinson Canó
3B: Taylor Motter
1B: Dan Vogelbach
LF: Guillermo Heredia
C: Mike Zunino
CF: Jarrod Dyson

Detroit Tigers

SP: Jordan Zimmermann

2B: Ian Kinsler
CF: Tyler Collins
3B: Nicholas Castellanos
DH: Victor Martinez
LF: Justin Upton
1B: Alex Avila
RF: Jim Adduci
C: James McCann
SS: Andrew Romin