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Mariners 5, Tigers 4: Soto’s wild, season’s done

The final game of the 2022 season saw the Tigers drop their third contest in a row.

Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The conclusion of the 2022 regular season for the Tigers ended in a 5-4 walk-off loss against the Mariners in Seattle. All games in the Major Leagues started today at 4:10 pm EDT... with one exception, which I’ll note below.

I’ve decided to summarize each of today’s starting pitchers’ seasons in haiku form. First, Tyler Alexander for the Tigers:

Tyler starts, relieves.

Much more success in bullpen.

‘Stache is on-point, though.

Now, Marco Gonzales.

Not great. Not bad. Meh.

Eats innings; dependable.

Good to have around.

Seattle’s rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez got things cookin’ on the second pitch of the bottom of the first with a solo home run, his 28th of the season. Mitch Haniger followed suit five pitches later, and suddenly Seattle was up 2-0.

Then Alexander took a deep breath, focused on his mantra for the day, breathed through both eyelids like a lava lizard of the Galapagos (and Nuke LaLoosh), and settled himself right on down for a few innings.

In the meantime, the Tigers got on the board with a pair of runs in the fourth. After a leadoff Spencer Torkelson walk, an Eric Haase double that pushed him to third; Jeimer Candelario cashed ‘em both in with a single. Then, in the fifth, Brendon Davis walked, stole second, and scored on a Javier Báez single to put the Tigers up 3-2.

In the sixth, Alexander walked Haniger to start the inning, and a couple of batters later Luis Torrens, normally a catcher but starting today at second base for the first time in his career — after picking up the win in Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader — turned a mistake into a two-run home run and a 4-3 Seattle lead.

The Tigers evened things up in the seventh, and Mr. Davis was at it again: he led off with a single, advanced to third on an Akil Baddoo single, and scored on a Riley Greene — you guessed it — single.

Gregory Soto entered a tie game in the ninth, which has occasionally been a recipe for trouble. After a one-out walk to Curt Casali, JP Crawford hit a tapper back to the mound for an easy, inning-ending double pl—just kiddin’, y’all, Soto bounced his throw to second in the dirt and everyone was safe. Soto then wild-pitched Casali to third, and Jarred Kelenic walked to load the bases. Ty France singled, the Mariners scored, and a nice little doo-doo-coloured bow was put on the 2022 season.

Robot Umps Ain’t Gonna Be So Bad

Eighth inning, against Taylor Trammell, the fourth pitch was apparently a called strike.

He ended up grounding into a nifty 3-6 double play on the next pitch, with Torkelson snagging a hot grounder, touching first base, then throwing to Ryan Kreidler at second to apply the tag. Still, though... yeesh.

October Doubleheader Madness

On Tuesday, the Tigers and Mariners had a scheduled doubleheader, making up for the four-game series lost at the beginning of the season with the, ahem, “unpleasantness.” As Torrens’ pitching appearance showed, the Mariners were in no mood to burn their bullpen in what was essentially a meaningless game, as their playoff futures had already been largely determined.

Also on Tuesday, the Blue Jays-Orioles game got rained out, but both of those teams know exactly where they’ll be after today: Toronto is the top Wild Carc, and Baltimore’s going home. Any more games involving either of those two teams would be, by definition, meaningless... so why bother making those games up? You see teams playing 161-game schedules occasionally, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented.

However, since the Mariners look like they’ll be matched-up against the Blue Jays, the relative amount of rest that each team has received this week would put Toronto at an advantage. Perhaps that’s why The Powers That Be decided that the meaningless Jays-O’s game shall have been made-up today with a doubleheader.

Numbers and Notes

  • One.
  • Two.
  • Three!!!! There are some numbers for you. Also: three, as I’ve been told, is a magic number.
  • Look, the Tigers ain’t the only people that have been phonin’ ‘er in lately.