DETROIT, MI - APRIL 24: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers misplays the ground ball off the bat of Alex Liddi #16 of the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of the game at Comerica Park on April 24, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Snap Reaction: What a frustrating game. What a frustrating week of baseball, really.
Despite some poor pitching and defense, the Tigers had a chance to do something in the end. The eighth inning, especially, looked promising when Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder singled to lead off the inning. But Delmon Young hit a fly ball to the 365-foot sign in right field -- well, if Ichiro's glove hadn't gotten in front of it, anyway -- and Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila both struck out. They threatened but do not score, as FSD play-by-play announcer Mario Impemba said. It seems to be the case lately.
But really, give up seven runs to the heretofore punchless Mariners and you get what you deserve.
There's a reason we say Max Scherzer pitches with the right eye, or the wrong eye. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of results in between. Tuesday was a wrong-eyed day. He gave up 10 hits and two walks while making it through just five innings. The Mariners scored five runs.
The Tigers' defense was a factor, of course. Infield singles contributed. During the Mariners' four-run second inning, Brandon Inge failed to make a charging play that could have limited the damage. While I do not think he should have been charged with an error -- the official scorer agreed -- I do think it's a play that has to be made and that many second baseman do make. I just don't think it fit the rule book definition of an error. In any case, if Inge makes the play the inning might turn out better.
In some ways, the balls seems to be finding its way through the defenders more than you would expect it to during the course of the season. Certainly there were examples of that, including a ninth inning bunt that stayed fair. On the other hand, one need only watch the team play in the field to realize it's not a stellar infield, and Cabrera showed both good and bad moments.
Meanwhile the Mariners were the polar opposite, making a pair of nice plays to close out the ninth inning.
Anyway, it was nice to see the Tigers flex their muscles a bit again. Alex Avila hit his first home run since the opening series of the season. It was a towering hit in every sense of the word that eventually fell into the bushes behind the center field wall, estimated at 430 feet. Cabrera hit his fourth homer of the year, but only the second since April 8. It wasn't quite as tape-measure big but the runs counted all the same.