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Royals 8, Tigers 4: Mike Pelfrey still can’t give Detroit a respectable start

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The defense and bullpen contributed to the final blow, though.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Pelfrey fell apart again, and the offense couldn’t get to Danny Duffy. Once again the Tigers couldn’t pull out a win because of Pelfrey and part of the bullpen, and as a result they fell 8-4 to the Royals in Game 2 of the three-game series.

It was a Pelfrey start, and predictably the game did not go so well. He failed to make it out of two innings and the first two relievers weren’t any better. Between Pelfrey’s erratic “command” and an assist to the Tigers’ awful defense, the team found themselves facing yet another deficit.

Of course, they weren’t the only aspects to blame: the offense had a measly three hits in six innings. The only runs allowed by Danny Duffy in that time were by Ian Kinsler when he homered, and an RBI single by Cameron Maybin. They also accounted for the only hits until Nick Castellanos’ leadoff single in the seventh.

Tyler Collins eventually drove Duffy from the game on an RBI single, after Detroit’s back-to-back singles put the starter in a jam at the end of his night. Even with that, though, the Tigers couldn’t tack on anymore damage. By the time the dependable half of the bullpen appeared, it was far too late for Detroit.

ROARS:

Ian Kinsler: Second home run in as many games, this one a two-run shot to the Tigers’ bullpen in the third. He also doubled in the first and scored on Cameron Maybin’s RBI single.

Cameron Maybin/Tyler Collins: The former drove in the Tigers’ first run, the latter drove in the last. They’ll split a roar.

Tigers bullpen: Excluding Dustin Molleken and Kyle Ryan, the bullpen was actually steady. The four relievers — Alex Wilson, Bruce Rondon, Shane Greene, and Mark Lowe — allowed just two hits across 3 2/3 innings. Rondon needed just nine pitches for a full inning with a strikeout, and surprisingly, Lowe gave Detroit a clean inning.

HISSES:

Mike Pelfrey: He didn’t make it out of the second inning and gave up five runs on four hits and four walks. Oh, and he hit a batter. Didn’t strike anyone out.

Tigers offense: Had just three hits against Danny Duffy through six innings. Two went to Kinsler, the other to Maybin on an RBI single.

Molleken/Ryan: Allowed four runs (and Pelfrey’s fifth run that was on-base at swap-time). What should’ve been a 4-4 tie after five was instead an 8-4 deficit, with little chance of a comeback for Detroit’s offense.

STATS AND INFO:
  • The 1 2/3 innings pitched by Pelfrey marked his shortest start since Sept. 30, 2015 (game two), and the second-shortest of his career (1 1/3 innings on July 19, 2010). It’s his 11th career start with two innings or less.

This game, summarized in one photo:

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs