The Detroit Tigers had a parade of trade targets on display at Comerica Park on Tuesday, and all did well — but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win. Matthew Boyd was strong and the bullpen held up shockingly well, but Aaron Nola couldn’t be scored on enough to avoid extra innings. The home team had their chances, but the Phillies eventually outlasted the Tigers to win 3-2 in 15 innings.
Of course, things took just a wee bit of time to get underway.
“They have a better radar than we do,” one fan said. pic.twitter.com/WBRWiXsWef— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 23, 2019
The rain has stopped in downtown Detroit, but the clouds are still dark and the tarp is still on the field. We may be cutting it close on that 7:10 p.m. start time.— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) July 23, 2019
Tarp has been removed at Comerica Park, where the Tigers are planning on a 7:45pm ET start.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 23, 2019
[Phone buzzes] “Peter, you gonna do the recap or not?”
The Tigers grabbed the early lead when, with Harold Castro standing on third, Aaron Nola threw a breaking ball in the dirt that bounced away from J.T. Realmuto, allowing Castro to come home home easily. The lead was short-lived, however. Roman Quinn took Matthew Boyd deep to left for a two-run home run in the next inning, putting Philadelphia in front.
That’s the way things would stay for a while. Both Nola and Boyd settled in and started going pitch-for-pitch with one another. Both worked out of threats multiple threats; in the sixth, Boyd fought himself out of a jam with no outs and two runners in scoring position after Castro whiffed on a hard ground ball and Christin Stewart misplayed a single. Boyd rose to the challenge, though, and managed to get three batters to pop out harmlessly to end the inning. The Tigers would tie the game up in the bottom of the sixth when Castro and Nicholas Castellanos hit doubles to tie the score at 2.
Boyd only went six innings, but they were an impressive six, especially with the Phillies front office watching closely. Buck Farmer came in to pitch a clean seventh inning with two strikeouts. The bullpen duel then really settled in when Joe Jimenez came on in the eighth inning and started with a strikeout of Bryce Harper. Jimenez finished the inning cleanly with a fly out and another strikeout. Shane Greene came on to pitch the top of the ninth, again in full view of Phillies brass, and spun a clean frame. He got a little help from Castro who laid out to make a spectacular catch and throw to end the inning.
To the bottom of the ninth the game would go. Jeimer Candelario led off with a walk to start the inning. However, nothing would come of the that, as the Tigers went down in order.
Trevor Rosenthal took over in the top of the 10th and again looked pretty impressive. He punched out Scott Kingery to start, then walked Rhys Hoskins. The wildness is always lurking, but Rosenthal rebounded to strike out Bryce Harper, and then got Realmuto on a grounder to end the inning.
That was the best inning Trevor Rosenthal threw for the Washington Nationals this season— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) July 24, 2019
The Tigers would go down in order in the bottom of the 10th, so onto the 11th we go. Blaine Hardy was was tasked to preserve the tie and he did just that — albeit with some drama and a close call at first base — but he finished it with a strikeout to get the crowd cheering. The cheering would not last, though, as Nick Pivetta, working in his third inning of relief, would again set the Tigers down quietly. To the 12th!
Nick Ramirez was called on to pitch in the top of the 12th, and he would take full advantage of the spacious Comerica Park dimensions; the first two outs drove JaCoby Jones and Stewart to their respective walls to make outs. Ramirez then induced an easy ground out to end the inning.
Everyone was happy, though, even Castellanos. Right, Nick?
In the bottom of the inning, the Phillies brought in their closer, Hector Neris. He had no problems with the Tigers, as he set them down in order. To the next inning!
Ramirez pitched a scoreless top of the 13th, this time with less drama than his previous frame. In the bottom of the 13th, the Phillies called on Juan Nicasio. Jordy Mercer led off with a bloop pop fly hit in just the right spot to get on base. JaCoby Jones followed with a 10-pitch walk to put two on with none out. But Castro bunted back to the pitcher, who easily got the runner at third, and them Miguel Cabrera hit into an inning-ending double play. Sigh...
The 14th inning featured Ramirez in his third inning of work and it was not any different than his first two.
In the bottom of the inning, Castellanos lead off with another double, prompting a pitching change as Jeimer Candelario came to bat. Former Tiger Jose Alvarez was called on to face Candelario, and he struck him out on a changeup far off the dish. An intentional walk to Niko Goodrum would have brought up Stewart to the dish, but Gardenhire pinch hit Brandon Dixon against the lefty. Dixon hit a single into left field and Castellanos raced towards home. The throw from Brad Miller was up the first base line, but Realmuto made an incredible reach and tag to just nab Castellanos as he slid his hand to the plate. John Hicks would then strikeout on a check swing to end the inning.
Nick Castellanos was thrown out by a millimeter, trying to score the game-winning run on a single to left field. The Tigers have to move the basepaths in.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) July 24, 2019
Daniel Stumpf got the ball in the 15th and gave up what should have been a leadoff double, but a bad bounce caromed the ball back into the field and turned it into a leadoff triple for Scott Kingery. A follow-up single from Hoskins scored the go-ahead run, the Phillies’ first run since the second inning. Castellanos ended the inning with a fine running catch into foul territory, and the kitties had one more shot. But nah, in the bottom of the inning the Tigers went quietly and we all finally went to bed.
Joe Jimenez’s scoreless outing made it his third in a row. Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come the rest of the year.
Boyd earned his first quality start in seven outings, going six innings, giving up just two runs on five hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts. Anthony Fenech summed it up best.
Matt Boyd's night: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, or, Forrest Whitley and Kyle Tucker.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) July 24, 2019
Nick Castellanos and Shane Greene aren’t going to affect their trade stock too much at this point. Teams know who they are. But Greene kept it clean, and Castellanos drilled a pair of doubles, made a nice defensive play, and nearly scored the game winning run in the 14th. With his stuff looking just about as lethal as ever, a few solid outings from Trevor Rosenthal will bring some modest offers to the Tigers door.
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The top of the fifteenth inning