It didn't factor in to the final score, but it was a telling moment in tonight's 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians. In a 3-2 count to Carlos Santana, Tigers catcher James McCann called for a fastball on the inner half of the plate. Simon missed high and outside.
That particular walk did not come back to haunt Simon, but his iffy command did. Simon allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings, including a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh after the Tigers had tied the score in the top of the frame.
The faulty fastball command came back to haunt Simon multiple times, though he only allowed one run through his first five innings of work. Indians hitters laid off the fastball and sat on Simon's offspeed pitches, including a hanging splitter that Abraham Almonte crushed to right field for the Tribe's first run in the bottom of the fourth. Giovani Urshela hit a two-run double off of a hanging curveball in the sixth. Yan Gomes hit an RBI double in the seventh off an 83 mile per hour something that caught too much plate.
The Tigers were able to keep pace for most of the night, answering two-run innings from the Indians in the sixth and seventh innings. However, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth -- his second of the night -- to break a 5-5 tie, and the Tigers were unable to answer in the ninth.
Both offenses were relatively quiet early on, though they had a few scoring chances. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on a one-out single from Anthony Gose, but a pair of baserunning blunders on that play turned a potential two-on, one-out situation into an inning-ending double play. Indians starter Danny Salazar was dominant for the next four innings, and finished the night with three runs allowed in 6 1/3 innings.
James McCann: The Tigers' catcher continued his recent hot streak, reaching base three times. He was able to grind out a 14-pitch walk and scored the Tigers' first run in the second inning. McCann scored his second run of the night in the seventh on a wild pitch from Bryan Shaw.
Andrew Romine: All three of Romine's singles contributed directly to Tigers' runs. He moved McCann up to second base in the second and seventh innings, leading to a pair of runs. Romine was thrown out at the plate in the second, but scored a game-tying run in the seventh. After the Indians scored two runs, Romine drove in another game-tying run in the eighth inning with a two-out single.
Baserunning: The Tigers' shoddy baserunning was on full display in the second inning. Gose hit what should have been an RBI single, but it turned into something so convoluted it required a Twitter screenshot.
This sums it up pretty well. pic.twitter.com/qFFctLV5Dc
— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) September 11, 2015
Gose was thrown out at the plate in the seventh inning, but it took an excellent throw by Lonnie Chisenhall and tag from Yan Gomes to nail him. Those are the plays you can generally live with, but Gose should have had a larger secondary lead with two outs.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Anthony Gose singled in the top of the second inning, extending his hit streak to four games. He has reached base safely in all nine games he has started in September, and has 12 hits in 33 at-bats.
- Rajai Davis' single in the top of the fifth extended his hit streak to four games.
- Ian Kinsler's RBI single in the seventh inning was his 1,500th career hit.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: