DETROIT -- Anibal Sanchez couldn't keep the ball in the park. The Detroit Tigers couldn't find their offense. The end result was an 8-1 defeat at the hands of the Brewers that required an extra dosage of caffeine to stay awake for due to the lack of drama after the third inning. Milwaukee has now taken the first two games of the three-game set.
Sanchez has had an odd season. Against the Twins, he has been highly effective, but against every other team, he's pitched poorly. And poorly doesn't begin to describe his season. Tuesday night he started by retiring six of the seven batters he faced on just 10 and seven pitches, respectively, including two strikeouts. Then the third inning happened. He faced nine batters in the third, and allowed six runs on five hits. Oh, and three straight two-out home runs. A two-out RBI double in the fourth ended his day.
The offense was nowhere to be found. Literally. Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson went eight innings, staying out of trouble while allowing three hits and walking four. He struck out five. The Tigers seldom managed to get runners in scoring position, and they went 1-for-6 when they did.
Sure it looked promising at the start when J.D. Martinez singled in Ian Kinsler, who'd walked and stole second. Maybe you even had hopes in the second when the Tigers had a pair of runners on base after Nick Castellanos singled and Jose Iglesias walked. But they couldn't score there, and they couldn't score again in the eighth inning when Miguel Cabrera recorded the third and final hit, and Martinez was hit by a pitch.
In a weirder moment, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing balls in strikes. Kinsler reacted to a called third strike by putting two fingers in home plate umpire Tripp Gibson's face. Kinsler had a beef -- two called strikes were both low. Gibson appeared to eject Kinsler after he turned back to the dugout, but it was actually Ausmus he was throwing out after he left the dugout.
Wilson/Alburquerque/Hardy: Alex Wilson gave the Tigers 1 1/3 innings of no-hit ball, striking out two. Al Alburquerque went two innings, striking out a batter and allowing two hits. And Blaine Hardy gave up just one hit and struck out two in his inning of work.
The offense: Three hits over nine innings. Seven men left on-base. One run. I think that about sums it up. Oh, and they walked four times.
Anibal Sanchez: Groundout 4-3, Double, flyout to right, RBI single, walk, home run, home run, home run, flyout to center. That's how the third inning went. And the Tigers were in a 6-1 hole at the end of it. The Brewers got to him again with two outs in the fourth, taking on a run and ending Sanchez's day.
Final line for Sanchez: not enough IP, too many H, suck, suckity-suck, WTF, SERIOUSLY?, and ohferthelove ...— HookSlide (@HookSlideBYB) May 20, 2015
STREAKS AND STATS:
- J.D. Martinez knocked an RBI single in the first inning, increasing his hitting streak to 10 games this season.
- Anibal Sanchez gave up his seventh, eighth, and ninth home runs in the third inning. It is the first time in his career he's allowed back-to-back-to-back homers, the second time he's given up three home runs in a game, and the fifth of his career. Sanchez has a 1.66 ERA against the Minnesota Twins, and an 8.44 ERA against all other teams this season.
- The Tigers have grounded into 41 double plays this season. Yes, they still lead the majors.
- Brad Ausmus was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes, marking the second time he's been ejected this year. Ausmus was ejected three times last year.
- The Tigers have scored two-or-fewer runs in a game an MLB-high 19 times this season.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: