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Angels 3, Tigers 1: Doug Fister quality start wasted, Phil Coke rocked in 10th as Angels sweep

The Tigers' offense comes up empty in another extra innings loss, scoring just one run over ten innings as the Angles complete a season series sweep.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels swept the Detroit Tigers with a 3-1 victory in ten innings.The Angels also sweep the season series with Detroit, winning all six games. The loss drops the Tigers to 2-8 overall in extra inning games.

Neither starting pitcher was around for the decision. Doug Fister allowed one run, scattering seven hits over seven innings. Jered Weaver was even better, holding the tigers to one run on just four hits in seven innings of work.

Kevin Jepsen (1-2), the fourth of five Angels pitchers, received credit for the win thanks to a scoreless ninth. Ernesto Frieri closed out the game, recording his 19th save. An ineffective Phil Coke (0-5) was roughed up for three hits and two run in just 1/3 inning of work, taking the loss for the Tigers.

Albert Pujols' run scoring double accounted for the game winning RBI, but the hitting star of the game (and the series) was Mike Trout. The Tigers could not do a thing with Trout, who was 4-for-5 today and 8-for16 over the three games. The Tigers were held to seven hits, Brayan Pena accounting for two hits and the only RBI.

The Angels have had the Tigers' number all season, who were trying to avoid being swept in their season series. The Tigers had not been swept in a regular season series since 2004. Until today, anyway. What started a pitcher's duel ended in another extra inning loss for the Tigers.

Fister pitched out of a two on, two out jam in the top of the second. Brad Hawpe and Hank Conger had back-to-back two out singles, putting runners on the corners. Fister got himself out of further trouble by retiring yesterday's Angels hero, Erick Aybar, an on a ground ball to first.

Bottom half the inning, the Tigers used three singles of their own to take a 1-0 lead. with one out, Victor Martinez singled to center, Jhonny Peralta made it back-to-back singles with a line drive to to left. Two down after an Andy Dirks strikeout, Brayan Pena singled to right off Weaver to plate Martinez. For the third straight game, the Tigers had taken a lead over the Angels. The question remained, could they actually hold this one?

Top of three, Mike Trout led off with a sinking liner to right Torii Hunter played into a double. Hunter went for the diving grab, was unable to hold onto the ball, tumbling far enough to allow Trout to easily advance to second. Hunter was shook up on the play, but remained in the game. Fister pitched himself out of the Trout caused jam on back-to-back ground outs from Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick to maintain the Tigers' 1-0 lead.

For the third straight inning, the Tigers had a base runner against the Weaver. Miguel Cabrera used his opposite field magic, doubling into the right field corner with two down. He would be stranded on Prince Fielder's can of corn to left.

The Angels tied up the game in the top of the fourth, starting the inning off with three straight singles. Josh Hamilton and Alberto Callaspo opened the fourth with singles. Hawpe followed with an RBI single through the hole in the right side, Hamilton crossing the plate to tie things up at 1-all. Hunter made a marvelous throw to nail Callaspo at third for the first out of inning and his sixth outfield assist of the season. Fister would pitch out of the inning from there, but with a pitch count of 78, odds were he wouldn't be pitching deep into the game. Being the Tigers had been forced to badly overwork their bullpen, this was not a good omen.

But thanks to Pujols bouncing into an inning ending around the horn 5-4-3 double play, Fister needed only nine pitches to retire the Angels in the fifth. Fister had an easy sixth inning as well, hitting the 100 pitch mark while retiring the Angels in order, meaning the Tall Man would start the seventh.

"We always want to talk about other issues, we got one run in ten innings." -Jim Leyland, deflecting blame from Phil Coke

Meanwhile, Weaver was shutting down the Tigers, having faced the minimum over the past three innings. The pitcher's duel proceeded into the seventh, both starters still in the game. This would be the first time Weaver had pitched into the seventh all season.

Top of seven, Fister retired the side in order, to receive Jim Leyland's "Handshake of doom" entering the dugout, ending his afternoon after one run, seven hits, seven innings and 111 pitches. Weaver had an easy seventh, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning, assuring Fister of a no-decision.

Al Alburquerque got the call in the eighth, but would it be the "You can't touch Mr. Snappy" Al-Al or "I walk lots o' batters" Al-Al? It was the good Alburquerque! He did walk Pujols, but was never in danger while tossing a scoreless eighth.

Weaver was done after seven innings as well, Mike Scioscia pulling his ace for lefty Scott Downs. Downs retied the first two Tigers he faced. With Ramon Santiago due up, Leyland went with the splits (right-hand hitters have a .754 OPS vs. .414 against leftes) calling on Omar Infante to pinch hit. The move paid off, Infante lashing a double to left. Pitching himself deeper into trouble, Downs proceeded to plunk Jackson.

One down, runners on first and second Scioscia brought on right-hander Michael Kohn for the third time in the series. For the third straight game, he wouldn't allow a run, stranding the go-ahead run at second. Kohn got Hunter to fish on a shoulder-high fastball for the second out, and blew a fastball past Cabrera to end the inning.

The game tied since the fourth inning at 1-all, Leyland went with his defacto closer in the top of the ninth, Joaquin Benoit. One down, Callaspo dropped a bloop single in short left. Speedy Peter Bourjos pinch ran, but he didn't need to swipe second. Committing a relief pitching no-no, Benoit would walk Hawpe, moving Bourjos into scoring position for Conger.

On the plus side, Benoit struck out Conger with a breaking ball in the dirt. On the negative side, Pena couldn't block the pitch, rolling far enough for the runners to advance 90 feet. Benoit went to a full count on the always pesky Aybar, would then foul off three straight pitches before Pena made a great stab of a foul tip to complete the strike out. Benoit needed 29 pitches to get out of the inning, stranding two runners in scoring position.

Right-hander Kevin Jepsen pitched the bottom of the ninth for the Angels, setting down Fielder and Martinez before a single by Peralta kept the inning alive for Dirks. Jepsen did the Tigers a solid by moving Peralta into scoring position with a very wild pitch. But extras would be on tap, Dirks ending the threat with a fly out to short left.

Their 2-7 record in extra innings this season did not bode well for the Tigers. Neither did Phil Coke starting the tenth for the Tigers.

Leading off, the left-handed Shuck bounced a single up the middle, just past a lunging Infante. Trout's ground ball single to right moved Shuck to third. Coke couldn't get any lefties out, but was allowed the face the right-handed Pujols. The at bat ended as you would expect, Pujols hitting a bomb to dead center for a run scoring double. Jackson nearly made a highlight reel over-the-shoulder catch, but the ball was jarred loose when he crashed into the wall.

Kendrick was intentionally walked to load the bases. Coke finally got an out, but it was a sacrifice fly off the bat of Hamilton. The Tigers down 3-1, Leyland yanked Coke for Luke Putkonen. He would get out of the inning, but not before allowing a second run on a Mark Trumbo sacrifice fly.

The Tigers down 3-1, Pena led off the bottom of the tenth with a single off Ernesto Frieri. That's where he would remain, Frieri closing out the game with little drama, retiring the next three Tigers in order. Cabrera was left standing in the on-deck circle as the game ended.

The Angels dominate the Tigers to sweep the season series 6-0. It was a miserable three games for the Tigers, who leave for a long 11 game road trip. The Tigers are not leaving town on a good note, losing two of three series in wrapping up a 4-6 home stand. How the Tigers go from taking 3-of-4 from the first place Red Sox to getting swept by the seven games under .500 Angels is something I can't explain.

Post game, Leyland deflected the blame from Coke, preferring to blame the lack of offense for the loss.

"We're focusing on the wrong thing as we always are. We got one run in ten innings"

"We always want to talk about other issues, we got one run in ten innings."

"We scored one run in ten innings, and didn't get a lot of hits."

Saying all the right things, Coke was more than willing to take the blame.

Having lost three straight, the Tigers fall to 42-35, their lead in the Central just two games over the Indians, who take on Orioles tonight.

The Tigers start an 11 games in 11 days road trip with three games in Tampa Bay. The series kicks off with the Tigers' Max Scherzer (11-0, 3.05 ERA) looking to become the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to start a season 12-0. Hoping to derail Schezer is Rays rookie right-hander Alex Colome (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who has not allowed an earned run in his first two career starts. First pitch at Tropicana Field is 7:10 PM.


Source: FanGraphs


This season, this has been the Tigers vs. the Angels in a win probability graph nutshell:

Austin Jackson had not failed to reach base in all 12 games he's played since coming off the DL; a first inning base on balls extending his streak.

Sometimes the local media causes one to facepalm yourself so hard, you give yourself a concussion.

If there were people who lamented the loss of a career hitting .245 backup catcher, it's news to me. Sure, everyone liked Gerald Laird. But come on, backup catchers like G-Money are dime-a-dozen. And no one expected Brayan Pena to be hitting .297 nearly halfway through the season.

Expect Jim Leyland to be called out for a failed, inning ending hit and run in the fourth. Mostly due to the cement shoes wearing Victor Martinez was on first, and .252 hitting Andy Dirks was at the plate. The play wenty as well as you would expect, Dirks struck out swinging, Martinez was dead to rights at second.

J.B. Shuck robbed Miguel Cabrera of extra bases in the sixth, laying out to make highlight reel catch. The internet reacted as you would expect.

Watching the Tigers hack away against Jered Weaver was becoming frustrating, to say the very least.

A tense tie game in the ninth, what does the crowd at Comerica do? The freaking wave.

Pena snagging a ninth inning ending foul tip resulted in the bad pun of the week:

Rod Allen seriously asked if Mike Trout would bunt with J.B. Shuck on first in the tenth. LOLwut? Of course, Trout singled to help trigger a game winning rally.

Jim Leyland's ridiculous use of Phil Coke sent the fan base over the edge. Here's just a sampling of the angry tweets as the columns in Tweetedeck spun like a slot machine.

Craig Monroe made a case for Phil coke on the FSD post game, playing the "He's a good teammate" card. I rather Coke gets people out than be the bullpen class clown.

To top off a bad afternoon, the Tigers announced Jose Valverde accepted an assignment to Triple-A Toledo. My spidy-sense tells me this is not going to end well.


Doug Fister: Tossed a rare as of late quality start for the Tigers, unfortunately next to no run support doomed Fister to a not so rare no-decision.

Including today, in his eight appearances since the win over the Astros, Fister has six quality starts. He's won just one, beating the Twins on June 16.

Brayan Pena: Two hits, the Tigers' lone RBI and a great grab of a foul tip get get Joaquin Benoit out of the ninth.

Al Alburquerque: Pitched a drama free eighth. When compared to the rest of the pen today, Al-Al more than deserves a ROAR.


Andy Dirks: Avoided the Golden Sombrero in an 0-for-4 afternoon, but he did so by stranding the winning run at second in the ninth. Dirks also ended another inning with a strike 'em out, throw 'em out in the fourth, failing to execute a hit and run. As noted by Rob, Dirks has been awful at the plate as of late, hitting .233/.274/.278 over the past month.

Top of the order: Jackson, Hunter, Cabrera and Fielder combined to go 1-for-16 with a walk. The Tigers won't beat anyone with that little of production.

Phil Coke: Didn't matter from what side of the plate the Angels were swinging, Coke was hit by both left and right-handed bats today. Coke took the loss, allowing three hits and two runs in just 1/3 of an inning.


Roll Call Info
Total comments 1,036
Total commenters 38
Commenter list Alex McHale, BSells12, C5wynn, DJ Screw, Elfuego51, Fielder'sChoice, Honeyman, HookSlide, House by the Side of the Road, JWurm, J_the_Man, JerseyTigerFan, MSUDersh, MakeItTrizzle, Matthew Malek, Michigan&TrumbullinLA, MotorCityCat, NCDee, RedWingedLigerFan, Rob Rogacki, SAchris, SabreRoseTiger, SanDiegoMick, Scarsdale_Vibe, ShowingBunt, Singledigit, SpartanHT, There Can Only Be One Verlander, TigerMom, Tigerdog1, davewilliamt, dominator039, jixah, kland83, knucklescarbone, mrsunshine, stevenyc, texastigerfan
Story URLs


# Commenter # Comments
1 texastigerfan 162
2 RedWingedLigerFan 123
3 HookSlide 114
4 JWurm 77
5 mrsunshine 67
6 stevenyc 54
7 Rob Rogacki 54
8 dominator039 34
9 Scarsdale_Vibe 31
10 Singledigit 30


# Recs Commenter Comment Link
4 stevenyc I don't understand why we used Coke when we had 5 fresh relievers available
2 HookSlide And the Narrative didst grin


Miguel Cabrera won 51% of the BYB vote, thanks his two hits, one a first inning home run.

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