It's the most baffling thing. Mind-boggling, really.
And we're not just talking about Josh Anderson hitting a three-run homer. His first home run of the season. For the Royals. Not the Tigers.
The pitching has been terrible. The lineup hasn't scored many runs. The Royals outscored the Tigers 21-7 in winning two of the three games in this series. And because of all this, the AL Central is still a race going into this weekend's series at Minnesota.
Do we need to begin worrying about Edwin Jackson? (That is, if you weren't concerned already.) For the second consecutive start, he gave up five runs. And he was bad pretty much from the beginning today. Two of the first Royals batters reached base. Soon thereafter, Jackson left a fastball out over the plate for Alberto Callaspo, who smacked it into the left-centerfield gap for a two-run double.
(Callaspo can officially be added to the Tigers Killer club this season, after batting 8-for-21 with two homers and nine RBIs in his last six games vs. Detroit.)
After putting two of the first three batters on base in the third, Jackson put some finality on the day, teeing up a fastball right down the middle to Miguel Olivo. Olivo launched it out to the shrubs in dead center for a three-run homer and a 5-0 Royals lead.
It was already likely to be a struggle for the Tigers against Zack Greinke. But down five runs? Greinke allowed no runs in his five innings, giving up just three hits. He may have pitched longer, had Miguel Cabrera not hit a line drive at his throwing arm in the fourth inning. But after the Royals made it 8-0 in the bottom of the fifth (more on that later), there was no sense in pitching Greinke any more.
So what is the deal? Could it really be as simple as the Royals just being a bad match-up for the Tigers? (Robinson Tejeda, Callaspo, Billy Butler, etc.) Probably not. Was Detroit looking ahead to this weekend with the Twins? Perhaps, but that just sounds like an excuse.
Regardless, the mystery isn't going to be solved this season, as the Tigers are (thankfully?) done with playing the Royals. If the Tigers were indeed more preoccupied with the Twins and White Sox, they'll have ample opportunity to address those concerns over the remaining 12 games on the schedule.
As poorly as Jackson pitched today, at least he can say he didn't give up a homer to Josh Anderson. Anderson didn't even display warning track power while he was with the Tigers. (And hadn't with the Royals, either.) No, this singular honor goes to Armando Galarraga, who showed that he's not to be counted on for meaningful contributions down the stretch.
Galarraga faced six batters. Five of them reached base. He hit one with a pitch. Only 11 of his 21 pitches were thrown for strikes. Merriam-Webster might be changing their definition for "disaster" as you read this.
Comment of the Day:
The ’06 Cards finished 5 games over .500 & lost 9 of their last 12 going into the playoffs…