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Mariners 3, Tigers 2: Seattle sweeps despite strong outing from Matt Boyd

At least Boyd was good.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers came into Sunday having already lost this weekend west coast series with the Seattle Mariners, just like they have done all season long across the country.

To go with what that low confidence, the team announced that Nicholas Castellanos, the subject of several trade rumors leading up to Wednesday’s deadline, was scratched from the lineup as a “precautionary measure” less than an hour before first pitch.

Another trade chip started, though, and delivered a strong performance in his best outing since May, as Matthew Boyd compiled 6 13 innings with 10 strikeouts, allowing one earned run on three hits and three walks during what might be his final start as a Tiger.

As has been the case, though, things did not end happily for Detroit.

Niko Goodrum kicked things off with his first right-handed home run of the season to get the Tigers out to a 1-0 lead — just like they did in every other game this series. There is your first red flag.

One inning later, Harold Castro drove Christin Stewart in with a single as part of a threat that was eventually extinguished with an inning ending double play.

Seattle’s first legitimate threat came in the seventh inning, when Kyle Seager’s knocked Boyd’s 111th (and last) pitch of the game for RBI double, leaving two runners in scoring position, though Buck Farmer and Blaine Hardy managed to clean up the mess.

Then, Joe Jimenez happened.

The former all-star once again showed that he is in no shape to handle high pressure scenarios, as he served up a weak 0-2 slider which Domingo Santana obliterated to tie the game at two in the eighth.

And, naturally, in the 10th, the Mariners won on a walk-off for the second time in the series, this time on a J.P. Crawford bloop single, to complete a four-game sweep.

The loss extends Detroit’s losing streak to six games and leaves them still in need of 14 wins to beat their historically miserable 2003 squad, which seems far more difficult than it should at this juncture.

The Good

Boyd has put together two consecutive strong starts with a combined 18 strikeouts and only three runs in 12 13 innings. His consistency is much needed in the Tigers’ rotation, as the other four rotation spots have been, to put it nicely, lacking. It also shows potential buyers that he might be as good as Tigers’ GM Al Avila has advertised.

The Bad

Pretty much everything else.

The Ugly

Ron Gardenhire’s decision making with his pitchers remains baffling. He sent Boyd out for the seventh inning, fine, but once traffic accumulated with one out and his starter nearing 110 pitches, he left his guy out to deal with the damage instead of introducing a fresh arm to mop up. Perhaps things would have gone the same way had the bullpen been used earlier, but Gardy remains dead-set on getting his starters to go seven innings when they, like virtually every other starter in the game, clearly are unlikely to do so successfully.

Also, Joe Jimenez should have lost his eighth inning duties months ago. By now, nobody is surprised when he blows a hold when he is obviously lacking the confidence to bridge the gap between the starter and Shane Greene.

Poll

Who was the player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Matthew Boyd
    (182 votes)
  • 24%
    Why am I even paying attention anymore?
    (103 votes)
  • 17%
    I’m just here until the trade deadline.
    (76 votes)
  • 15%
    Spencer Torkelson
    (66 votes)
427 votes total Vote Now