Today's loss to the Angels started bad, got unbelievably worse, then ended with a whimper. But it was just one game of 162. When all was said and done, nothing really changed. The Tigers remained in first place, which is all that matters.
I will admit the lack of offense over the past four games is disconcerting, as was the defense's inability to make plays on a few of those infield singles. Say Jhonny Peralta gets to one or two of those balls. Maybe the Angels only score three or four runs rather than nine. And they still would have won the game. Four beats zero every time.
To paraphrase Denny Green's all-too-true quote, the Tigers are who we thought they were. They don't have great defense or play small ball very well. The Tigers lack speed and have a bullpen by committee which is missing a shutdown closer. Meaning the Tigers will win with good starting pitching and a slugging offense. Period.
When they don't get either? You saw what happened today. Once the offense comes around, and it will, we'll forget today, and the miserable first inning, ever happened.
But even when everything looks to be going your way, sometimes you get BABIP'd.
When the other team has five seeing-eye singles and a grand slam IN THE FIRST INNING, what else are you going to do but shrug your shoulders and move on?
That's what the Tigers will do. That's what I'm going to do. You should as well.
Read it and weep.
The Tigers had not allowed a first inning run in 16 games. The streak ended today against Rick Porcello, giving up NINE.
Porcello only allowed three relatively hard-hit balls (and only one no-doubter, the grand slam) in the first inning, but Lee Panas of Tiger Tales makes a good point:
Unlucky inning for Porcello, but the inability to get strike three continues to plague him.— tiger337 (@tiger337) April 20, 2013
Sometimes you have to make your own luck and put the game in your own hands. When you don't strike batters out, you can find yourself at the mercy of the of the opposition, your defense and BABIP. Porcello received no mercy on any front.
The ugly, ugly, ugly first inning totals:
Two Tigers pitchers, 56 pitches, 13 Angels hitters, nine runs, ten hits, one walk, one wild pitch, five #TwinsHits (three infield singles, two seeing-eye singles) and one grand slam home run.
It only took one inning for Porcello's stats to take a massive hit:
And to make history.
Based on Game Score, Porcello today ties for the 7th-worst start in #Tigers history. Scott Sanders holds record with -15 in 1998.— Noah Trister (@noahtrister) April 20, 2013
Talk about living right. Peter Bourjos was 3-for-3 by the third inning. Not one ball had left the infield.
Jim Leyland waved the white flag and started emptying the bench in the sixth. Don Kelly took over for Torii Hunter in right field. Matt Tuiasosopo and Ramon Santiago entered the game in the seventh, replacing Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera.
I think it's safe to call Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards a Tiger Killer.
Garrett Richards' career WHIP vs. the #Tigers (6G, 2 starts): 0.680. ERA: 1.53— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) April 20, 2013
Need more proof?
Garrett Richards induced 12 ground-ball outs over seven shutout innings, put up 8 more with strikeouts. Just 3 balls hit in air to OF.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) April 20, 2013
Brayan Villarreal allowed one earned run over 1 2/3 innings and lowered his ERA by ten runs. He started the day at 30.38, ended it at 20.77. Baby steps, people.
This West Coast swing (and the oddball start times which ensue) cannot end soon enough. Next week baseball returns to normal, as the Tigers have a nine-game home stand. Beginning Tuesday, the Tigers will finish out the month at Comerica Park with normal start times, either 7:08 or 1:08 (THANK GOD). The one exception? An 8:08 start when the Tigers face the Braves on ESPN's Sunday night Baseball next weekend. I suggest you stay clear of John Kruk when he goes on a rib-eating frenzy.
Drew Smyly: The one positive in what was a long, boring afternoon. Smyly pitched into the seventh, not allowing a run in 5 2/3 innings.
Rick Porcello: Yes, he was the victim of some God-awful luck. But any chance at a comeback went up in smoke when he allowed the grand slam to Trout.
The Tigers offense: Since beating Seattle 6-2 on Tuesday, they have scored three runs in four games.
West Coast road trips: What once looked to be the best West Coast road swing in memory has become a struggle to head back to Detroit above .500.
GAME THREAD ROLL CALL:
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|Commenter list||Anthony Steven Lewis, BadCompany22, Baroque, BigAl, Blazers33x, Cabbylander, Fielder'sChoice, GVLaker09, Grzesio, JWurm, J_the_Man, Jacob30, Jim Bunn, JoeK5, KGW, Kurt Mensching, Lukas M, MakeItTrizzle, Matthew Malek, Michigan&TrumbullinLA, RedWingedLigerFan, Rob Rogacki, SAchris, SabreRoseTiger, SanDiegoMick, Scarsdale_Vibe, SonataArctica, SpartanHT, TN Ben, TheLegacyofJordanTata, Tigerdog1, Trout Jefferson, ahtrap, beelze, dishnet34, dominator039, eromnek, frisbeepilot, jcbeckman, jhitts08, kland83, knucklescarbone, mrsunshine, mtchyg, nicolas08, rbbaker, rea, scott_cunni, send'emhomegene, stevenyc, swish330, tbradstreet10, toled0lions|
|Story URLs||http://www.blessyouboys.com/2013/4/20/4246188/game-17-tigers-at-angels-3-05-p-m/in/4010227 http://www.blessyouboys.com/2013/4/20/4246806/game-17-overflow-tigers-at-angels|
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In what was one of the worst offensive performances of the young season, Anibal Sanchez tossed a quality start, enough to give him 44% of the BYB vote and PotG.