The Detroit Tigers’ high flying offense finally crashed to Earth in this one, courtesy of one Zack Godley. Matt Boyd was good but couldn’t measure up when it counted, and the Tigers had to settle with a split in the two-game series.
The Tigers pushed across the game’s first run with three consecutive singles from Justin Upton, Jim Adduci and James McCann in the second inning. Otherwise the Tigers were held in check by Godley. The swingman had his offspeed stuff on point, striking out Miguel Cabrera in his first two trips to the plate.
As for Matt Boyd, he got seven straight outs to start the game, dropping in nice first pitch curveballs and flashing a firm slider and his usual dose of changeups. He also chopped a single up the middle for the first hit of his major league career.
The good times lasted until a Nick Ahmed solo shot in the third tied things up at one apiece. Three consecutive two-out singles in the inning, including a Paul Goldschmidt comebacker off Boyd’s leg, then loaded the bases. A passed ball charged to James McCann with Jake Lamb at the plate scored a go ahead run before Boyd retired Lamb.
A similar scenario came about in the fifth when Chris Owings slapped a grounder up the middle and burned it to second base, taking CF Tyler Collins by surprise. The Tigers put Goldschmidt on first, and this time Boyd was able to carve up Lamb without issue.
While the Tigers’ bats slept, Boyd was on the brink of another fine start before he let it slip away in the sixth. After a one-out double, Boyd struck out Chris Iannetta, and the Tigers put Nick Ahmed on with an intentional pass to get to the pitcher in the nine spot. Everything was set up for Boyd to escape without issue, but he made a cardinal error, walking Godley to bring the dangerous A.J. Pollock to the plate with the bases loaded. Predictably, the baseball gods punished Boyd for this transgression when Pollock slapped a seeing eye ground ball through the left side of the infield to make it 4-1.
The Tigers’ offense continued to get nothing done against Godley, going down quickly in the seventh. At that point, knowledgeable fans put out of the lights and got some beauty rest.
Working with essentially a four man bullpen and down three runs in the bottom of the seventh, the time was right for manager Brad Ausmus to once again display the smoldering shell of Anibal Sanchez to his bosses. Sanchez couldn’t help but oblige, surrendering a single, and back-to-back home runs right out of the chute. Seriously Al Avila/Chris Ilitch, stop the madness this instant.
We did get to see what lefty reliever Chad Bell looked like finally, as he pitched around a bit of trouble for a scoreless eighth. Bell flashed his mid-90’s fourseamer and a decent looking breaking ball.
That’s about it. Coffee and a short memory is your prescription for Thursday if you stayed up for the bitter end of this dud.
The only roars in this one came from Diamondbacks fans as Anibal Sanchez pitched. Enjoy the free tacos guys.
I've never been sadder about free tacos. pic.twitter.com/d6Wj4VGsiS— H. José Bosch (@HJBosch21) May 11, 2017
Matt Boyd: A little harsh perhaps, but walking a pitcher to load the bases with two outs, is an unforgivable mistake. Boyd struck out six and was generally quite good, but National League ball sometimes presents a turning point in ways the junior circuit does not, and Boyd failed in the test tonight.
The offense: James McCann had an RBI single while it still mattered, though he also gave it back with a passed ball to allow the Diamondbacks’ second run, but otherwise this was a bad showing by the whole lineup.
The defense: Ok, the team just had nothing to offer tonight. They sucked. No dissection necessary.
Streaks and info:
Sanchez HR/9 ratio— Patrick OKennedy (@Tigerdog_1) May 11, 2017
2013- 0.45, 1st in AL (Fister 2nd 0..60)
2014- 0.29, 2nd in AL
2015- 1.66, 43rd of 44
2016- 1.76, 42nd of 44