Not as bad as you’d have expected.
Twins 5, Tigers 3
The Tigers bullpen is a bit of an adventure, and Anibal Sanchez (5 GS, 23 IP, 3.13 ERA, 2.44 FIP, 0.8 fWAR) didn’t get out the third inning due to a blister, so the fact that they only lost 5-3 given that they needed 6+ innings from the bullpen is probably something on the order of a moral victory. They got a pair of runs in the 1st and one in the 9th, but a big, messy 5th inning sunk the Tigers as Ortega and Coke combined to allow four runs with another coming in the 8th. The Tigers were able to load the bases in the 8th, but Cabrera took a couple of poor swings ahead of a GIDP that ended the threat. They’ll still have a chance to take the series behind Justin Verlander (5 GS, 33 IP, 2.18 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 1.0 fWAR) on Sunday.
The Moment: Cabrera knocks one off the RF wall to plate a run in the first.
How is it that year after year, the Tigers have a lights out starting rotation and a horrendous dumpster fire of a bullpen? I don’t get it.
Starting pitching is more consistent in general, for one. I also think they tend to trade their pitching prospects before they turn into failed starters who become relievers. So instead of Turner, Miller, Furbush, French, etc turning into relievers, they’re ending up elsewhere.
In regard to an earlier tweet of yours–which farm-hand starters, do you think, have the best chance to save the bullpen? That is, is there anyone like Smyly down there?
By the way, Mr. Pershing–great analogy! “Dumpster fire” for sure. Watching Ortega pitch yesterday (he was probably a little geeked first day up, poor guy), then Coke walk a guy, was utterly slow-burn agonizing.
Ray is the obvious choice, but Lobstein, Knebel, DLR, Crawford, plus all of the regular relievers.