You probably could've turned this game off after the top of the first, because that frame told you everything you needed to know about this game. Scott Kazmir was off - way off - with his pitches, clearly struggling with his mechanics. He walked three of the first four batters to load the bases with one out, after which Miguel Cabrera... swung at the first pitch he saw.
Seriously? To that point, Kazmir had only gotten six of 21 pitches over the plate. In Cabrera's defense, that first pitch was right down the middle. But he eventually popped out to the first baseman. Gary Sheffield then drew a walk on five pitches, bringing in a run for Detroit. What does Marcus Thames do to follow? He swings at the first pitch and flies out to left field.
One run is all the Tigers got out of a situation in which the opposing pitcher was serving up runs on a platter. Instead of capitalizing, they flipped the platter over and sat in what was spilled onto the floor. They totally let Kazmir off the hook when he was struggling, and gave him a chance to pull himself together.
How many chances did the Tigers have to win this game? Cabrera and Sheffield left 10 runners on base, combined. Thames - who's playing like he wants Matt Joyce in the lineup - left another three. Altogether, 12 runners were stranded tonight. Far too many wasted opportunities. And once Kazmir left the game - after throwing 110 pitches in 4 2/3 innings - the Tigers had no answer for the Tampa Bay bullpen, squeaking out just one hit the rest of the way.
10 people who might feel like they wasted a perfectly good Friday night? ThaWalrus9, MSU4LIF, pfuhrmeister, rook34, Tony K, JIMDALE, densogirl, Zappatista, jerseyboyinmi, and Wingz. Kudos for keeping the faith alive and giving each of us people to commiserate with.