The best things you can say about tonight's 6-0 loss to the Athletics are "Magglio Ordonez made a few nice catches in right" and "Rick Porcello wasn't too bad."
Seriously, that's about it.
Otherwise I'd have to say, "The Tigers offense was a no-show, generating only 3 lousy hits in 5.2 innings against A's starter Brett Anderson, who was fresh off the DL. They could only muster 2 more hits more against the A's pen. Lets not forget, once again, the Tigers' bottom of the batting order was, to put it mildly, weak sauce."
How weak? Weak enough for bullets!
- Ryan Raburn started in left, giving Brennan Boesch the night off, and batted 5th (Uh, WHAT?). Giving Miguel Cabrera no protection, Raburn is now hitting (term used loosely) .186 after a 0-3 night.
- Brandon Inge was in the 7 hole. He's carrying the bottom of the order with a robust .215 average.
- Gerald Laird was 8th. Though he was legitimately robbed of a home run by A's left fielder Gabe Gross, Laird is still hitting an embarrassing .154. The number change hasn't done anything but draw attention to his lack of offense.
- Batting 9th, Adam Everett continued to lose his battle with the Mendoza line. He's at .189.
For what it's worth, Carlos Guillen was buried between Raburn and Inge in the 6 spot. I honestly felt sorry for him. Not that it would have made a difference, but why Guillen wasn't batting 5th is a mystery only Jim Leyland can answer.
If the meat of the order has an off night, as they did against the A's, the Tigers have absolutely no shot at winning. This crap with the lower part of the batting order cannot continue. As good as their defense is supposed to be, it's no longer making up for their shocking lack of offense. An American League team cannot continue to trot out 3 (sometimes 4) offensive black holes in the lineup on a nightly basis, and expect to contend.
I really don't know what the team can do at this point, but sitting with a pat hand at the offensively weak positions (specifically catcher and short) isn't going to fly much longer.
So, all in all, this was an awful game. Actually, the loss added to what's been an awful week.
The Tigers have now lost 4 in a row, and 6 out of 7, falling 3,5 games back of those damned Twins in the Central. They are now on 2 games over the .500 mark at 25-23, and the White Sox are slowly sneaking up from behind. There's only 4 games separating the ChiSox and the Tigers in the standings.
In the clubhouse is where the Tigers fireworks really started, and I'm not talking about the weekly show after the end of Friday games. Almost immediately after the final pitch, the Tigers announced Dontrelle Willis was being designated for assignment in order to make room for Max Scherzer. (I'm honestly surprised the Tigers pulled the plug on the Willis experiment.)
We can only hope it's just the beginning of a much needed purge. There's a handful of players who need a drastic reduction in playing time.
- Miguel Cabrera has accounted for all the Tigers runs in this series, thanks to his 3 home runs on Friday.
- The A's number 8 hitter, 2nd baseman Mark Ellis, had 4 RBI. The Tigers lost to Mark freaking Ellis?
- Porcello fell to 4-5 overall. He wasn't great, but he did deserve better.
- The A's broke a close game wide open in the 8th against the Tigers' bullpen tag team of Brad Thomas and Eddie Bonine, scoring 4 runs.
- The 3rd of those 4 runs shouldn't have scored, as Gross was going to be out by 10 feet trying to score on Ellis' double. But Everett short hopped the relay throw to Laird, who couldn't handle it. The play tied up the night in a nice little bow...
As if you couldn't tell by the tone of this recap, tonight's performance frustrated the bejeebus out of me.