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Twins 4, Tigers 2: Nicholas Castellanos can’t win it himself

The Tigers right fielder knocked in the team’s only two runs.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers started off hot but could not maintain their early momentum, as they dropped the series opener to the Twins in Ron Gardenhire’s first managerial return to Minnesota, 4-2.

The score is in the title, so the bad news may be fairly obvious: the Tigers lost the ballgame. This bad news gets even worse, however, as they lost it due to a game-winning bases-loaded walk by Logan Morrison. It’s hard to give Morrison full credit for that walk, however, as Daniel Stumpf missed the strike zone on four straight pitches to make it happen. To add insult to injury, Warwick Saupold entered and was able to make Robbie Grossman hit a shallow fly ball to Leonys Martin. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Martin tripped in center field after making the catch and took his time getting the ball back in, so Eddie Rosario tagged up and scored standing up. Rosario would go on to make a stellar catch to end the ballgame and lock down a Fernando Rodney save.

It had been a while since the Tigers have faced the Twins, as the two teams did not square off in 2018 until now due to a particularly strange 2018 schedule. Nicholas Castellanos was especially eager to face his division rival, as he knocked a pair of runs in during the first and third innings (one via a monster first-inning home run to center field) off of Twins ace Jose Berrios. Through three innings, things were looking good. After all, the Tigers have dominated Berrios thus far in his career. In five career starts against Detroit, Berrios had only pitched fifteen-and-a-third innings with a 11.74 ERA, 47.2% strand rate, a 2.28 WHIP, and a staggering 1.8 home runs allowed per nine innings (just to showcase a few particularly bad numbers).

For the most part, however, the Tigers could not get anything going off of Berrios. The Twins ace allowed one hit to non-Castellanos Tigers batters in eight innings of work (the lone other hit being a Jose Iglesias double to lead off the third inning). The Tigers did not have a particularly dazzling starting pitcher to face off against Berrios, either, as they sent out Blaine Hardy for his second start of the year. All in all, Hardy did all you could ask from a fill-in starter. The first two times through the orders, the Twins only managed four hits (and zero runs) off of Hardy.

In the fifth inning, Ron Gardenhire kept Hardy in for the third time through the lineup (Hardy had a very low pitch count at the time). Unfortunately, the decision did not pay off. Brian Dozier hit a soft double to right field, then Max Kepler hit a monster double to right field which scored Robbie Grossman and Dozier to tie the game. Thankfully for Detroit, the ball did not exit the ballpark despite how it looked coming off Kepler’s bat, giving the Tigers some good ol’ fashioned false hope as they continued deeper into a game against a sharp young Twins ace.

One particularly impressive performance for the Tigers tonight came courtesy of submarine reliever Louis Coleman. The 32-year-old provided the Tigers with two much-needed scoreless innings of work, allowing no hits with one walk and one strikeout. Coleman has now thrown five-and-two-thirds scoreless innings for Detroit since being called up on May 12, a much-needed boost for the Tigers bullpen, which is currently the 23rd best — or eighth worst, if you’re a pessimist or a realist — in baseball. (Of course, the team has more blown saves than saves and leads baseball in blown saves, but hey, they had zero opportunity to add to that total tonight).

Tweet of the Game


Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Nicholas Castellanos (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI)
    (156 votes)
  • 18%
    Louis Coleman (2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)
    (35 votes)
191 votes total Vote Now