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The Big Potato gets mashed: Tigers lose 3-2 in 11 innings

Final - 4.7.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2
Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3

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Fangraphs box score

It was an cold, ugly, miserable night in Kansas City. You could say the same about the Tiger' bats and The Big Potato (who got mashed), Jose Valverde.

Both did more than their fair share in contributing to an 11 inning, 3-2 Tigers loss to the Royals.

After a Carlos Guillen single scored a pinch running Don Kelly to take a 2-1 lead, Valverde entered the game in the bottom of the 11th, supposedly to close out the game. That's why he's being paid $14 million over 2 years, right? Wrong.

Valverde didn't get a single out.

The Tigers' closer gave up a solo home run to Alberto Callaspo, which tied the game at 2. It was all downhill from there, as Billy Butler singled, and scored on a Rick Ankiel double.

Just like that, game over.

Valverde now has as many blown saves as Fernando Rodney did in 163 games. Just sayin'...

I will admit it wasn't all on the mashed potato. Butler scoring all the way from 1st was greatly facilitated by Scott Sizemore forgetting he was playing in the major leagues. The rookie 2nd baseman dropped a perfect relay throw, and made matters worse by not hustling after the ball. Butler was going to be held at third, and actually stopped while rounding the bag. But Sizemore was, as Joe Riggins would call his players in Bull Durham, a lollygagger. He made a rookie mistake, one I hope we won't see again.

As for the Tigers' so-called offense? The lack of it made for deja vu all over again. Nothing but weak at bats, squandering baserunners and pounding balls into the ground. The Tigers made Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar look like a hall of famer for 7.2 innings.

But the Tigers' BFF, the Royals bullpen, got to take over.

Royals manager Trey Hillman asked his closer, Jokim Soria, to enter the game with 2 outs in the 8th, hoping for a 4 out save. It looked as if he was going to get it, as he easily got 3 of the outs. Then Miguel Cabrera came to the plate.

He had the best at bat of this young season, and possibly his best as a Tiger. It was a 10 pitch battle, with Cabrera keeping the game alive by fouling off several of Soria's 2 strike offerings. On pitch number 10, Cabrera finally got a fastball, and lined it off the right field foul pole to tie the game at 1 all.

In order to get to that point, we have Max Scherzer to thank for keeping the Tigers in the game. The 2nd year starter had a marvelous performance in first AL appearance, no-hitting the Royals for 4.1 innings. The youngster ended his night going 6 strong innings, giving up only 1 hit and 2 walks, while getting absolutely no run support. Some things never change.

But the story of the night was the 11th inning blow up by Valverde and the Tigers' not-so-startling lack of offense. As much as I'm ticked over the blown save, the odds remain good Valverde will have a solid season.

The offense, on the other hand...

Comment of the Night:

Between the weather, and the fact the Royals play there, the stands at Kaufmann Stadium were a barren wasteland.

rcpratt had to call it as he sees it.

There are more BYB comments on this game than fans attending it.

And it wasn't even close.