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Tigers' winning streak ends, Benoit's struggles continue, in 4-2 loss to Blue Jays

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Final - 5.16.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto Blue Jays 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 4 12 0
Detroit Tigers 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 2
WP: Kyle Drabek (3 - 2)
SV: Frank Francisco (4)
LP: Joaquin Benoit (1 - 3)

Complete Coverage >


BOX

KEY STAT

Joaquín Benoit's inning of 4 H, 3 ER pitching raised his ERA to 7.98 and WHIP to 1.70, dropping his record to 1-3. It was an ugly, ugly performance.

KEY PLAY

I have to say it was Miguel Cabrera's sacrifice fly in the 1st inning.

Austin Jackson led off with a single. Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek then walked Andy Dirks and Brennan Boesch, loading the bases. All the signs of a big inning were there, especially with Cabrera at the plate. When the ball left his bat, it looked long gone, a grand slam to right. But Cabrera's swing was a hair under the pitch, which was enough to keep the ball in the park. Instead of four runs, and knocking Drabek out of the game, the Tigers only plated one. Victor Martinez then hit into a double play, and the squandering began.

The inning could have been so much more...

KEY THOUGHTS

The Tigers' winning streak ends at seven games. Kurt's tweet on the @BlessYouBoys Twitter account (you are following, aren't you?) pretty much says it all about tonight's very disappointing and extremely annoying loss:

I think we all knew as soon as the Tigers only scored one in the first the game would be a lost cause.

An excellent Max Scherzer (7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) deserved better. Much better.

Speaking of deserving, Benoit doesn't deserve the 8th inning setup job.

I know it's early, and there's lots of baseball yet to be played. All is not lost in the case of Joaquín Benoit...not yet. He's coming off of a lights out season. But at the moment, Benoit is throwing red meat to the opposition. The Tigers badly need their highly paid, prize free agent reliever to pitch himself out of his season long slump. Benoit is owed too much money for too long, meaning the Tigers have no choice but to ride this out. Thing is, the ride can't be in the 8th inning, despite Jim Leyland's claims Benoit is his setup man.

It's not all on Benoit, though. The Tigers' offense deserves just as much, if not more, blame. Drabek had trouble throwing strikes all night. The Tigers could only put one single, solitary run on the board against a pitcher who would have had trouble hitting the broad side...of well, anything large. Drabek was begging to be knocked out the box, absolutely begging. And the Tigers couldn't do it.

Miguel Cabrera missed a 1st inning grand slam by a couple of feet, a sac fly resulted instead. Brandon Inge missed a 9th inning, one out, game tying home run by a couple of feet, leaving the game in the hands of PH Don Kelly instead ('nuff said). The only Tiger to get those extra feet was Jhonny Peralta, who clubbed a solo home run in the 9th. Peralta gave us a brief feeling of hope. Very brief.

Dirks got his first start in the big leagues, with his parents in the stands (They received more air time on FSD than Rod Allen). After walking in the 1st, Dirks singled in his first official at bat...then proceeded to get picked off.

Yep, it was one of those nights.

One bad night is not a season changer. The Tigers remain a good team, with a division title there for the taking. FOR. THE. TAKING. (I'm not buying into what the Indians are selling, thank you). It's just damn bothersome to see Scherzer's great start go to waste, thanks to the return of untimely hitting and a struggling bullpen.