It's a story we've seen before with the Detroit Tigers, one we've watched far too many times this season. Yet again, the offense failed to capitalize on several scoring opportunities. As a result, a decent pitching performance was wasted, and the margin for error was paper-thin.
Shall we count the ways in which the Tigers squandered scoring chances last night?
- Detroit did score a run in the first, taking an early 1-0 lead. But with two runners on, no outs, and the middle of the batting order coming up, it could've been a big inning. Instead, three straight groundouts yielded just one run.
- In the fourth, the Tigers had runners on first and second with one out. But Clete Thomas struck out, and Brandon Inge hit a grounder to shortstop.
- After a Miguel Cabrera RBI single tied the game 2-2, Detroit had runners on first and second. But Thomas and Inge blew another chance to add more runs, as both batters made fly ball outs.
These are not what Rod Allen would call "productive outs."
Some credit should go to A's pitcher Trevor Cahill, who's now pitched three consecutive quality starts. He seems to have figured out his sinker since the last time he faced the Tigers, in which they pounded him for seven runs in less than three innings. Detroit kept hitting into groundouts, rather than putting the ball in the air (preferably into the gap).
But as Jim Leyland lamented after the game, his presumed sluggers aren't getting the big hit - more importantly, an extra-base hit - when needed. Other than Cabrera's deep drive to right-center that ricocheted off the wall, resulting in quite possibly the longest single ever hit, the Tigers could barely hit the ball out of the infield with runners on base.
Against a better team, Armando Galarraga probably would've given up more than two runs. Especially in the second inning, when he loaded the bases with no outs. From there, however, Galarraga only allowed two more hits over the next four innings. That should've been enough to earn a win.
The bottom four batters in the Tigers lineup - Thomas, Inge, Alex Avila, and Ramon Santiago - went a combined 0-for-15. Thomas and Inge left nine runners on base.
Comment of the Night:
It took a little work, but we found something amidst the All-Caps (ALL CAPS!!!!!!) frustration going on in last night's GameThread.
with this brand of bull.