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.