With a strong bullpen appearance by the Tigers, an offense that battled from behind twice, and yeah, maybe a little creative interpretation of the rules by the umpiring crew, Detroit's seven-game losing streak is no more. The Tigers won 5-4 after a three-run sixth inning lifted them from a one-run deficit to a two-run lead.
Those sixth inning runs were key and came not without a little controversy. Anthony Gose's slide outside the basepath to break up a double play should have resulted in the inning ending under a normal a reading of MLB's new slide rule. Gose was outside the base paths and made no attempt to touch second base, which should have resulted in Andrew Romine being declard out at first.
But the replay umpires decided to stick with the call on the field. By the letter of the law, that seems wrong. By any fair interpretation of how the world should work, it's the right call. It would have been a 3-3 tie with the inning declared over, but the Tigers led 5-3 at innings' end. The extra run was key.
The Tigers' bullpen rebounded from the past horror shows with a fine four-inning performance, but not without one hiccup. Drew VerHagen gave up a home run in the seventh to Ryan Zimmerman, cutting the lead to 5-4 at the time, but that was it. With a little help, anyway.
With two outs in the eighth inning, the Nationals tested the Tigers' defense with a pinch-hit double to center field by Clint Robinson. Wilson Ramos tried to score from second. This happened.
Romine made a couple of nice plays at short, but this one may have been the play of the game.
Francisco Rodriguez closed out the ninth for his eighth save.
Tigers starter Michael Fulmer went five innings. Strong? Probably not. Were they awful? Not really. He gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six. He earned his second major league win.
Nick Castellanos: A near-permanent fixture in the roars for his bat, Castellanos hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the fourth inning to give Detroit a 2-1 lead.
Victor Martinez: A four-hit game, his second of the year. He scored two runs as well.
Andrew Romine: Shortstop of the future. Or something. Iggy who?
Replay umpires in New York: We don't get why they didn't declare a double play for interference, but whatever.Thanks!
The losing streak: Yeah, that sucked.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Victor Martinez's four hits gave him the second four-hit game of the season. The first was April 29. It's his ninth multi-hit game of the year.
- Nick Castellanos' home run was his seventh of the year. He is now hitting .800. Wait, it only feels like it.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: