There’s good news, and there’s bad news.
The bad news: the Tigers lost their final game of the season.
The good news: thanks to a Pablo Sandoval walk-off in San Francisco, the Tigers ended the year with the worst record in baseball, which means they get the number one pick in the 2018 draft.
For a franchise in the early stages of a full rebuild, this is excellent news indeed.
As for the game itself, it went out much like the entirety of the Tigers season. Hopeful flashes early on, then a whole lot of nothing to write home about.
There was a sense of melancholy watching those final three outs — as Brad Ausmus, in his final game with the Tigers, handed over managerial reins to Ian Kinsler for one day — we have to wonder who else won’t be back next year? Kinsler, may not return. Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez likely spent his last game in a Tigers’ uniform, and there will be others who do not take the field in Detroit on Opening Day. Did Alex Presley make enough of a case for himself, hitting a solo home run for the Tigers only run of the game? Certainly he’s has a noteworthy season, and one that will likely earn him a job next year. Will it be with the Tigers?
There’s a lot of uncertainty as the Tigers offseason begins tomorrow. What will this team look like in 2018?
For now, let’s focus on the positive: the Tigers slide to the bottom at the end of the season is a positive thing for the team’s future, and we here at Bless You Boys will spend the coming months wildly speculating about players the Tigers might select with that first draft pick.
As for today’s game:
Sanchez did fine, enough so that a team looking for a fifth starter next season may take a look at him. He final line for the game was 5 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, and notably, no home runs, something Sanchez has struggled with all season.
Blaine Hardy and Drew VerHagen gave up the other two runs in the game, both of them home runs, and Joe Jimenez came on in between them for a clean inning of work with two strikeouts. Hopefully Jimenez can find his footing in the offseason and come back as the player everyone hoped he would be this year. The raw talent is certainly there.
JaCoby Jones and Bryan Holaday both had two hit days
Another note was that this was likely Bartolo Colon’s last game as a major league pitcher, and what a career he has had. He went 6.3 innings in tonight’s game, with a final line of 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
And so the Tigers 2017 season has come to an end, not with a bang, but a whimper.