Sometimes writing about the same Central divison competitors over and over can lose its charm, so it’s kind of nice to get to write about a Chicago team that isn’t the White Sox. The Cubs are in Detroit for a three-game set, and the Tigers put up a great late-inning comeback against the Cubs (and against a former Tiger on the mound). Alas they couldn’t maintain the eighth inning momentum and come away with a win, but it was still fun to watch.
Alex Faedo continues to be... okay? Pretty good sometimes? Not a write-off? I don’t know, he doesn’t make me want to drink, so I’ll take it. Spencer Torkelson and Kerry Carpenter continued to swing hot bats, but the Tigers also continued their favorite activity of leaving men on base.
Tonight’s game saw Alex Faedo square off against Javier Assad. Also noteworthy tonight was the major league debut of Parker Meadows.
In the first inning, Faedo kicked things off with a 1-2-3. The Tigers were already in a mood to get on base in the bottom half, with a one-out walk from Riley Greene followed by a single from Spencer Torkelson. They would be the first of many LOBsters for the Tigers tonight.
The top of the second saw things take a pretty early bad turn on Faedo, though not all of it was his fault. Dansby Swanson got a one-out walk, followed by a Seiya Suzuki single. Former Tiger Jeimer Candelario grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Swanson, but a fielding error from Torkelson allowed Suzuki to safely reach third with no one out. Suzuki then scored on a wild pitch from Faedo. A Madrigal double brought Candelario home. The Cubs were up 3-0 at the mid-second. The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the home half.
The third inning was three-up-three-down for both sides.
Onto the fourth and Suzuki hit a solo home run to extend the Cubs’ lead. In the bottom half Kerry Carpenter hit a one-out double but the Tigers left him stranded.
Faedo had a fairly tidy fifth, allowing a walk to Mike Tauchman, but no Cubs’ runs scored. In the bottom half, Javier Baez reached first on a fielding error from Swanson, and then Zack McKinstry walked. Baddoo grounded into a fielder’s choice to eliminate McKinstry and the Tigers left two on base.
Faedo had another 1-2-3 (see, aside from that terrible second inning he actually looked pretty good). That was all she wrote for Faedo whose night went 6.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR on 92 pitches. The Tigers finally got themselves on the board in the sixth with back-to-back home runs from Torkelson and Carpenter. Parker Meadows collected his first big league hit with a single to right, but the Tigers were not able to get him his first run.
Back-to-back pitches.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 22, 2023
BACK-TO-BACK HOMERS! pic.twitter.com/urQllh57lJ
Brendan White came on in relief in the seventh and had a 1-2-3 inning. The Tigers would have to settle for a walk from Akil Baddoo in the bottom half and no additional runs.
The eighth saw Andrew Vasquez out of the bullpen, and he had some issues. With two outs he gave up a triple to Ian Happ. Cody Bellinger then singled to score Happ. That was curtains for Vasquez who gave way to Will Vest. Swanson singled, then Suzuki was safe on first thanks to another fielding error from Torkelson, but no additional Cubs runs scored.
The bottom of the eighth saw another old friend in Comerica as Michael Fulmer took the mound for the Cubs. Torkelson doubled to start things off, then Carpenter singled. A walk to Matt Vierling meant it was bases loaded for the new kid, Meadows. His mom couldn’t even look. Meadows ultimately struck out, but the final strike called was absolutely a ball. Injustice! Baez then hit a truly incredibly placed double to score Torkelson and Carpenter. A McKinstry single that Bellinger just couldn’t catch scored Vierling to tie things up.
This bat had exactly one hit left in it. Javy made it a big one. pic.twitter.com/4xfVc78oiu— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 22, 2023
The Tigers headed into the ninth in a tie game with Beau Brieske on the mound, just hoping to keep the score even and give the Tigers a chance to walk it off in the bottom half. He immediately gave up a double to Yan Gomes. Then Nick Madrigal doubled to score pinch-runner Mastrobouni, basically doing the exact opposite thing Brieske was supposed to do. Tauchman reached on a single, then a Happ fielder’s choice scored Madrigal. The Tigers would need to overcome a two-run lead if they want to win the game.
Torkelson reached on a one-out single, proving himself to be an unstoppable force this game. Torkelson advanced to second on defensive indifference with two outs. Vierling then hit an improbable single to score Torkelson. A Meadows flyout ended it, but it was still a good game.
Final: Cubs 7, Tigers 6