DETROIT -- Alfredo Simon has regressed. The bullpen hasn't performed, nor been managed properly. The Detroit Tigers offense is absent. These factors led to a quiet, long, dreadful night at Comerica Park, and a 9-3 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates to drop the interleague series.
Simon got off to a fine start. And by fine, I mean horrible. And it never got better. He gave up 10 hits in three innings alone, including a five-spot in the third. By the end of his 5 2/3 innings of work, he had given up 15 hits on six runs, despite seven strikeouts. Al Alburquerque, brought in to replace Simon, gave the Tigers 1 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, with a run-scoring wild pitch and a walk. Then, Joba Chamberlain put the icing on the cake, giving up three monster home runs.
As for that offense. Oh that offense. This was supposed to be a power lineup with the ability to get runs in with speed. With few exceptions, lately that hasn't happened. Only J.D. Martinez continued his mashing dominance, reaching base in all four at-bats. Victor Martinez doubled and was hit by a pitch, and Rajai Davis tripled in the fifth, but other than that, it was quiet even in the ninth.
James McCann absolutely launched a home run on the first pitch to left in the ninth, putting a paper cut into the Pirates' sizable lead. Jose Iglesias singled and Josh Wilson reached on a fielder's choice. Andrew Romine then singled. And Victor Martinez mercifully ended the game as the offense started it. Quietly.
J.D. Martinez: Reached base four times, the only Tiger to do so on Wednesday night, and one of two players to reach base more than once. Victor Martinez was the other. Defensively J.D. was stellar, getting a 9-4-6 double play and two assists.
Victor Martinez: Speaking of Victor, he was the only other Tigers batter to get on-base at least twice. He had a double and a hit by pitch.
Alfredo Simon: Regression has hit, and hit hard ... and early. Simon gave up 10 hits in his first three innings of work, including a two-run home run and a five-run spot in the third. He went on to give up 15 hits on six runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.
Joba Chamberlain: Three monster home runs allowed, including back-to-back shots, as well as a single. Bad Joba.
Brad Ausmus: Failed to manage the pitching staff properly, nor the decisions to bunt repeatedly when down four runs.
Tigers offense: They went station-to-station with only two extra-base hits, left six on-base, and had just eight hits total.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Alfredo Simon gave up double-digit hits for the first time this season, when he allowed 10 through the third inning.
- Simon is the first Tigers pitcher to give up 15 or more hits in a start since Scott Sanders gave up 16 hits on 11 runs on April 14, 1998 against the Texas Rangers.
- Alfredo Simon gave up 15 hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched, setting a new career-high in hits allowed. His previous record was 11 hits on four runs allowed on August 12, 2011 against the Tigers, as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
- Rajai Davis hit a two-out triple in the fifth inning, his seventh of the season, which leads Major League Baseball.
- J.D. Martinez recorded two assists on Wednesday, giving him eight for the season. His assists are a tie for the second-most for a right fielder in the majors, along with Rays' Steven Souza.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: