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Phillies 7, Tigers 3: Bullpen falls apart as Tigers split series

Bullpen breakdowns and men left on base squashed hopes for a two-game sweep.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers settled for a split in the first two games of their 2019 home-and-home series with the Philadelphia Phillies, dropping Wednesday’s matchup by a score of 7-3.

The Phillies opened the scoring in the second inning, as a sequence of a few base hits off of Tigers starter Daniel Norris would lead to the first run of the game. Despite falling behind, the Phillies regained the lead in the seventh inning and did not look back thanks to a bases-clearing double from Maikel Franco against the Tigers’ bullpen.

The Tigers had their chances to win this game, but failed to capitalize. After having little trouble the first time through the Tigers order, Phillies starter Aaron Nola had a bit more difficulty after that. The Tigers threatened in the top of the fourth inning, having the bases loaded only to have the threat quelled by a JaCoby Jones strikeout. Aside from surrendering two runs in the sixth, the Phillies would largely contain Detroit’s offense, causing them to strand 11 men on the basepaths despite 12 Tigers hits.

Damn, Daniel

Norris turned in another solid start on Wednesday night. Outside of the scoring sequence in the second, Norris settled in quite nicely, sequencing his pitches well over five innings of work despite some harder contact against him, surrendering five hits and striking out four on just on just 64 pitches (43 strikes). Being a road interleague game, we were also given the gift of at-bats from Norris, during which he flew out to left field and did his best to leg out a grounder in the infield.

The Candy Man can

Jeimer Candelario, again batting in the leadoff spot, recorded first-pitch double to start the game, followed by a two-out single in the top of the third and drawing a walk in the fifth inning. Continuing yesterday’s trend of flashy defense, he flashed the leather yet again by snagging a hot line drive from Andrew McCutchen out of the air, subsequently doubling Nola off at first base.

Bullpen blues

Once Norris left the game, the pitching staff had a bit of a rough go. After an effective sixth inning of work, Buck Farmer unraveled after going back out for the seventh, surrendering a leadoff double and hitting Sean Rodriguez with a pitch. Daniel Stumpf would relieve him, giving up a single to load the bases. Victor Alcantara entered and gave up the aforementioned bases-clearing double to Franco and RBI single to McCutchen. Zac Reininger surrendered a line drive home run to Rhys Hoskins, as well as three hits and another run in the eighth inning.

Feels like the first time

Jordy Mercer recorded his first home run in a Tigers uniform in the eighth inning on Wednesday, launching a no-doubter to the left field seats at Citizens Bank Park.

On deck

After a day off on Thursday, the Tigers will return home on Friday to begin a three-game weekend series against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. First pitch on Friday is slated for 7:10 p.m. as Matthew Boyd is set to face off against Jorge Lopez.


Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Daniel Norris
    (210 votes)
  • 28%
    Jeimer Candelario
    (84 votes)
  • 1%
    (5 votes)
299 votes total Vote Now