|Final - 6.29.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Mets||4||0||1||0||3||0||2||4||2||16||20||0|
|WP: Chris Capuano (7 - 7)
LP: Phil Coke (1 - 8)
P Don Kelly: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0.BB, 0 K, 0.00 ERA.
Brought in by Jim Leyland out of desperation (Why burn up an already stretched thin bullpen...that wasn't getting anyone out), Kelly stepped onto the mound. He dropped a 2-2 curveball on the Mets' Scott Hairston, resulting in a pop fly to center for the final out of the 9th inning.
Kelly is the first position player to pitch for Tigers since Shane Halter played all 9 spots back in October of 2000.
The Mets were holding onto an 8-6 lead after the Tigers had scored four times in the 6th to make it a ballgame. With two out and the bases loaded in the 7th, Ryan Raburn was unable to make a play on Daniel Murphy's 3 hopper in the hole. He got to the ball, but didn't get a glove on it. It wasn't an easy play, but one a legitimate major league 2nd baseman should make. So instead of it being the inning ending out for Al Alburquerque, the ground ball rolled into short right. Two runs scored, and the Mets proceeded to walk away from the Tigers.
Making the play even more painful was Andy Dirks hitting a (what should have been game tying) two run home run in the bottom of the 7th.
Raburn did hit a solo home run earlier in the game. But as is always the case, what Raburn giveth, he taketh away....and then some.
But I have to admit this is piling on Raburn (which I'm more than happy to do). Realistically, when your pitching goes in the tank for the second consecutive evening, torched for 16 runs and 20 hits by the mediocre Mets, it's hard to call anything a "key" play. The Tigers' pitchers were pounded into submission.
KEY ROSTER MOVE
After the game, Jim Leyland announced Daniel Schlereth was being sent down to Toledo, and Brayan Villarreal was being recalled. Leyland made a point to say this was not a planned move, and only made due to the pen being short handed after two nights of punishment. The Tigers' skipper also added it wouldn't hurt for Schlereth to, as he put it, "Get some work in."
Just as Billy Mumy would wish people into the cornfield, I'd like to wish Phil Coke back into the bullpen. After being shelled by the Mets (4 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 K) It's become obvious a set up role in the pen is where he apparently belongs.
Like the Tigers, I thought Coke could transition from back end of the pen reliever to end of the rotation starter. He did pitch in some bad luck early in the season. But since coming off the DL, Coke hasn't held his own as a starter. After posting a 1-8 record, 4.91 ERA and 1.48 WHIP as a member of the rotation, the time has come to end the "Coke to the rotation" experiment for this season.
Coke was at a loss in a post game interview: "They were just hitting anything that was over the white thing." My suggestion for Coke? Get some tips from Kelly.
The Tigers' bullpen (save for Don Kelly, Pitching Wizard) was putrid. Nothing more, nothing less.
The Tigers' offense did more than enough to win. Despite five home runs, it wasn't nearly enough to male up for lousy pitching.
Miguel Cabrera is a beast. His second home run of the game had to be one of the longest in Comerica Park history. A monstrous shot off the brick wall behind the flag pole in left center. Super-damn-human, that's what it was.
Thank goodness Justin Verlander will be doing his thing for the Tigers in game three of the series. Of course, his thing is winning games, ending losing streaks and saving bullpens. He needs to do all three tomorrow.