The Detroit Tigers scored early, but a lower back injury to starter Francisco Liriano and an ineffective bullpen leaves the Tigers in a tie for the fifth overall draft pick in the 2019 draft, as they dropped the final game and the series to the Minnesota Twins.
Things started promising for the Tigers as they jumped out to an early three-run lead after two innings. Nicholas Castellanos brought in the first run with a sacrifice fly in the first inning. In the second, the Tigers loaded the bases with no one out, but they did not waste the opportunity. Jeimer Candelario and Christin Stewart brought in two more runs to put the Tigers up 3-0.
Liriano was dealing through the first two innings as well, striking out four of the first seven batters he faced — including striking out the side after a leadoff single in the second. But things quickly fell apart in the bottom of the third. With one out, he gave up back-to-back doubles, then back-to-back walks after a strikeout. This led to manager Ron Gardenhire pulling Liriano from the game (he would later be diagnosed with lower back tightness). Louis Coleman came on and gave up a game-tying two-run double, and then a two-run single to put the Twins up 5-3.
Things would go from bad to worse in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Hall came in and allowed the first six batters to reach before recording his first out. The Twins scored four more runs in that span to blow the game open and push their lead to six runs.
And that was just the first two hours and 15 minutes.
The game would mercifully conclude at the three hour and 23-minute mark, with neither team having scored again.
Odds and Ends
- Christin Stewart went 3-for-4 (all three hits singles) to push his batting average up to .267 with a .792 OPS. In his first 71 plate appearances, he has a .366 on-base percentage, and has looked at least passible in the outfield. His bat and eye needed to carry him in the majors to make up for his poor defense. So far, it looks like they have done just that.
- Continuing his farewell tour, Victor Martinez was honored in a brief pre-game ceremony by the Twins, and was presented with boots from the AL Central’s other long-time catcher/DH, Joe Mauer.
- The Tigers’ Wives continued the annual auction of their husbands “favorite things.” Jessica McCann’s gathering of James’ hunting, fishing, and outdoors related gear appears to include the infamous Rally Goose.
@JamesMcCann34’s favorite things include Huntin’ Fishin’ & Lovin’ Everyday...you can bid on his basket here https://t.co/BxHrg0kZGO Baseball signed by @LukeBryanOnline & tickets to his concert in #Detroit are just a couple of my favorite items! ☺️ #Tigers #FavoriteThings pic.twitter.com/4Zv4OVaQpa— Jessica McCann (@JessMcCann34) September 28, 2018
Finally, on a personal note, this will be my last recap of the season. I’d like to thank you all for reading and look forward to recounting more Tiger tales next year.