This was a tough loss to take but no that surprising. Both Fister and Santana pitched like aces but the “top rated” Tigers offense could not produce a single run.
I understand that Santana has had a good season and pitched well tonight but with the money the Tigers have invested in their offense it is not unreasonable to expect better.
This game has it’s share of leather flashin. Royals’ short stop Alcides Escobar made several nice plays. Torii Hunter threw a seed from right field to gun down Chris Getz trying to take third on a fly ball in the top of the 8th. Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila teamed up to cut down Eric Hosmer trying to score from third and a ground ball in the first. And the play of the game was a relay from Alex Gordon to Alcides Escobar to Salvador Perez to cut down Prince Fielder at the plate to end the game.
Objectively speaking this was a really well played game. The only problem is that the Tigers offense couldn’t come up with a single run. This seems to be the story of the last two seasons, no consistency on offense. They score a lot of runs one game then go into hibernation for a week. It is very frustrating and sometimes painful to watch.
There are two plays in particular I’d like to address.
- In the bottom of the sixth Iggy led off with a bunt single. At this point it was obvious runs were going to be at a premium. I was hoping the Tigers would give Iggy the green light to try to swipe second. I’m not big on bunting a guy over from first to second but I am a fan of the stolen base. Instead, Jackson followed with a fielders choice then Hunter and Cabrera flew out to end the inning. If Iggy could have stolen second he could have gone to third on Jackson’s ground ball and scored on Hunters fly out. Instead the Tigers settled for nothing. I understand speed is not the Tigers game but Iggy does bring this dimension to the team. This would have been the perfect time to try something new instead of just going to the plate and taking your hacks against a pitcher that’s been dominating you. I could have lived with Iggy getting thrown out at second. But I can’t live with doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
- In the bottom of the 8th Miggy came to the plate following a Hunter double. This put Hunter a second with two out. Cabrera then ended the inning with a ground out to second base on the first pitch. I know it is hard to complain about Miggy but he has been horrible the last few weeks and I’m not sure it is all injury related.
On the bright side Fister did pick off Emilio Bonifacio at first base in the top of the third inning. With pick offs and runners thrown out at second the Tigers seem to be making strides at slowing down the opposing team’s running game. Now if they could manufacture a run or two of their own they might have something. Still with this lineup they really have no excuse for being shut out ever, let alone, 11 times this season.
Let’s see if Max can get is 20th win of the season in the rubber game tomorrow.
“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural
2 thoughts on “Royals 1 Tigers 0”
Chris, I agree with your assessment of the Iggy situation in the 6th. It seemed pretty clear they weren’t going to string enough hits together in this game to score a run. The reason I say this is because JL’s postgame comments were about how filthy Santana’s stuff was. Well if that’s the case….duh!!!
There were two things that stand out to me in this one… I did not watch until the 9th, but was listening a little on the radio.
1. I though Yost over-managed by taking Santana out to bring a lefty in to face Avila. The guy was throwing a gem, had a low pitch count, and it didn’t seem like he was losing it at all. But Leyland managed to trump that dumb move with one of his own – pinch hitting for Avila with Castellanos – who has shown nothing to this point. The results were as expected. Not saying Avila would have come up with a big hit there, but I’ll take my chances with the veteran in that situation, plus a guy who has come up with some very big hits this year.
2. I thought it was the right call to NOT pinch-run for Fielder. I thought it was the right call to send him – expecting another hit of Holland was not realistic, especially by a pinch-hitter coming up. The problem I saw on this play was Priince not tracking the movements of the catcher, where he was clearly on the outside of the basepath to catch the throw. Prince should have stayed in-line with the track of the ball with the hope it would either hit him, or he would block the vision of Perez. He would not have been out of the baseline. The next problem was Prince NOT creating contact on the tag. I know Perez is a big man, but Prince is bigger, and he was the moving object. I would like to have seen a collision on this one Otherwise as it played out he had no chance to simply beat the throw and avoid the tag.
Otherwise, this game was as I expected. As I wrote in my comments Friday night, the Tigers would not score the rest of this series. I even told my dad during the first inning of this one that I would be surprised if we scored at all. Maybe we get a couple today, so Max will have to pitch lights out. I’m not holding my breath because KC is simply a little better than the Tigers right now. And they need it.
Scary part is these games are shaping up like playoffs. It appears we are on a collision course with Oakland – they will have the home field. Unless things change in the next two weeks we’ll be out in four games. No way we’re beating Oakland playing the way we are, and them playing the way they are…. Hopefully things will change.
Sark, agreed! Pinch hitting Castellanos last night was one of the most asinine moves I’ve seen JL make.