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Detroit Tigers Links: Adversity arrives early to test the Tigers

Last night was really ugly, but Ichiro hit a home run!

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe you felt it coming after the Detroit Tigers let two different pop-ups drop in due to miscommunication. Or maybe you watched JaCoby Jones pop-up a bunt into a double-play because he was too upset with himself to run it out. If you bailed early, you made the right call.

Then again, the Tigers fought back really well against Rays ace Chris Archer to take a 7-5 lead. Even after Alex Wilson leaked a run, things were still looking okay. Perhaps you watched Justin Wilson absolutely dominate the eighth inning, pretended that baseball ends after eight innings, and went to bed.

Unfortunately, the bullpen issue isn’t going away yet. Francisco Rodriguez loaded the bases in the ninth, but looked to have induced a game ending double-play ball. Jose Iglesias slipped trying to slow himself coming across second base to take Ian Kinsler’s feed, threw the ball away, and the game was over. Oh, and Brad Miller, sliding into second, caught Iglesias in the head and nearly knocked him out.

Did I mention that I loathe Tropicana Park? Whether the Tigers win or lose, bad, weird, or otherwise unpleasant moments just seem to haunt the place when the Tigers and Rays meet up.

Patchwork Tigers

Just a night after Justin Upton got drilled in the arm at second base, knocking him out of the lineup, the Tigers will presumably be missing their shortstop tomorrow. Expect to see Dixon Machado in the lineup alongside Tyler Collins, Andrew Romine, and JaCoby Jones, although he was a mess on Wednesday night. Perhaps Mikie Mahtook will get the opportunity to play in his old stomping grounds while Jones learns how to put mistakes behind him. Pitch well, Daniel Norris. May not be a lot of help coming your way.

To his credit, Francisco Rodriguez stood up and faced the music after the blown save, as he always does. He, and all of Tigerdom, identified the leadoff walk to Kevin Kiermaier as the kiss of death. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Hopefully he finds better command pretty quickly here or things will get ugly.

It was just another game in the bizarro world that is the Trop. Tell ‘em Miggy.

Social media roundup

Bryce Harper, fresh off a walkoff bomb against the Phillies the other night, did all the damage possible on this one as the Nationals walloped the Braves.

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell got into the act with a walkoff bomb.

ADIos. #Walkoff

A post shared by MLB ⚾ (@mlb) on

The Yankees bats appear a bit ahead of schedule in the early going. Here come the Judge — it’s obligatory.

The winner in the feels category has to be this young Cubs fan who found his hard work rewarded with a trip to Wrigley Field to see his team in person. D’awww. Solid parenting right here.

This brings us to my favorite moment from Wednesday. Ichiro Suzuki, playing what is likely his final game in Safeco Field, gave his old hometown something to have mixed feelings about.

On second thought, nah, the feelings weren’t mixed.

News and analysis

Jeff Sullivan investigates the Cubs slow start, the stark drop in velocity of several of their starters, and wonders if this is a problem. Since it’s the Cubs, maybe this is all by design? Eno Sarris took a look at whether outfielders have a good and a bad side. Travis Sawchik gives umpire C.B. Bucknor credit for what may be the best strike three call of the year so far. Good thing someone appreciated him. Jayson Werth didn’t.

While Aaron Judge has done a lot of damage for the Yankees, Greg Bird has, so far, been quiet. Even quieter still has been Doug Fister’s agent’s phone. Might want to keep that number handy, Mr. Avila. Baseball Prospectus considers how best to mow down the worst hitters in the game. Could semi-busted top pitching prospect Archie Bradley become the Diamondbacks relief ace? Finally, you must read SB Nation’s own poet laureate, Grant Brisbee, as he offers his take on Starling Marte’s 80-game suspension for Nandrolone.

Look at this dang changeup/screwball