If a more ridiculous game of baseball is played in 2016, I'm not sure I want to see it. The Detroit Tigers won a preposterous 10-8 game over the Minnesota Twins on Monday evening at Comerica Park. Jordan Zimmermann got the win for Detroit (I think), his team's second in a row.
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when Ian Kinsler launched Twins starter Jose Berrios' first pitch into left field for a solo home run. Nice start, right? The Tigers didn't think that was enough, and proceeded to score eight first inning runs, their highest total in a decade. The glorious sequence went: home run, walk, walk, groundout, single, strikeout, walk, walk, double, pitching change, double, double, single, before a fielder's choice ended the inning.
The Twins didn't lie down, though, and chipped away at the huge lead over the next several innings. They scored two in the second, a run in the third, and four in the fourth to bring the score within one. After a couple of scoreless innings on both sides, the Twins tied the score in the top of the seventh when J.D. Martinez dropped a routine fly ball with two outs, scoring Byung Ho Park from second base.
The real highlight of the game came in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Castellanos was called out on a questionable third-strike call by home plate umpire Doug Eddings, who then promptly ejected manager Brad Ausmus. The Tigers' skipper, apparently feeling the pressure surrounding his job security, lost his cool and raced out to argue with Eddings. After getting his money's worth, Ausmus then doffed his sweatshirt and laid it over home plate, a baseball manager's iteration of Custer's Last Stand, perhaps.
As for actual baseball things, Nick Castellanos hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh, and J.D. Martinez doubled the lead with a solo shot in the eighth. Francisco Rodriguez worked a scoreless ninth inning for his 10th save of the year.
First-inning therapy: The Tigers batted around and then some in the first. Ian Kinsler led it off with a leadoff solo shot and the runs poured in until Victor Martinez's second at-bat ended it. Give some credit to Jose Berrios for helping with his lack of ... everything, though.
Nick Castellanos: You hit a go-ahead homer, you get a roar. Castellanos finished the night with a pair of hits and two runs scored.
Brad Ausmus: Obviously.
Jordan Zimmermann: The Tigers' best starter had his worst outing of the season, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits after being spotted an 8-0 lead. The lone silver lining was that he worked seven innings, saving a Tigers bullpen that saw plenty of action over the weekend in Baltimore.
Victor Martinez: An 0-for-5 night for V-Mart.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Ian Kinsler's home run in the first inning marked the 33rd leadoff home run of his career, tied with Paul Molitor for the 11th-most in MLB history.
- The Tigers' eight runs were the most scored in the first inning of a game since they drove in 10 on Sept. 23, 2006 against the Royals in Kansas City.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: