Rain and resurrected Boston bats made for kind of a grey day at Comerica Park, as the Red Sox beat up on the Tigers 9-1.
Blaine Hardy’s first and third innings were solid: getting Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and JD Martinez out 1-2-3 each time. The second, though, saw a single-double-groundout-groundout to score Boston’s first two runs. Hardy was on a pitch count, as he hadn’t started since June 26, so it wasn’t going to last long no matter how he pitched.
Chris Sale was, well, Chris Sale. He put down the first eight Tigers, before, naturally, Victor Reyes hit a clean single, because baseball. The final line: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K.
Hardy’s day ended after the first three batters in the top of the fourth reached base: a line drive just above Jeimer Candelario’s glove, a double to left, and a mildly boneheaded play on a grounder to first; John Hicks instinctively threw home, but Steve Pearce (who was on third) wasn’t running.
A lovely jam bases-loaded, none-out jam was inherited by Drew VerHagen. But the boneheaded plays weren’t exclusive to the Tigers, as a grounder that deflected off Candelario’s glove (and scored the third Boston run) saw two Boston runners mysteriously congregated at third base, one of whom was tagged out.
The point was somewhat moot as the next batter, Jackie Bradley, Jr., mashed a three-run homer to left to put Boston up 6-0. To VerHagen’s credit, though, he did set down the next eight Sox in order, so there’s that, I guess.
Things stayed the same until the seventh when Daniel Stumpf served up a pair of runs; Louis Coleman allowed another of Stumpf’s runners to come in on the always-exciting sacrifice fly to put Boston up by three field goals.
Candelario hit a no-doubt solo home run to right to put the Tigers on the board in the seventh. Jeimer has been looking much better in the past few games, before the break in Houston and in this series: he’s had a couple of home runs, and hung very tough against Sale in his first two trips to the plate. A solid Candelario in the middle of the Tiger lineup sure would look good right now.
Things got curious in the eighth when the Tigers loaded the bases with two out, bringing Candelario to the plate. A lousy call on an extremely high-and-away 3-1 pitch made the count full, and Jeimer crushed a deep fly ball to centre, which got Comerica’d on a fine running catch by Bradley.
Things have been tough for the Tigers lately, but at least they haven’t had to deal with a case of hand, foot and mouth disease like Noah Syndergaard’s.
Noah Syndergaard is going on the DL with hand, foot & mouth disease. Possible he picked it up working at a kids camp over the all-star break. Perhaps why he had diminished velocity and was tired on Friday. Assistant GM John Ricco said they expect it perhaps to be just one start.— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) July 22, 2018
So, when times are tough, just remember: it could always be worse.
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
This poll is closed
Drew VerHagen (3 IP, 2 R, 3 K)
Jeimer Candelario (1-4, solo HR)
Louis Coleman (1 2⁄3 IP, 0 H, 0 R)