Twins 2, Tigers 0
Drew Smyly (10 GS, 60.1 IP, 3.58 ERA, 4.47 FIP, 0.4 fWAR) didn’t look like he was going to have a great night early on, but he managed to hold the Twins to one run in six innings of work, giving the Tigers a very good opportunity to win the opener. Unfortunately, the Tigers were unable to generate any offense on Friday night. They had a couple of threats, but could not deliver especially in the 5th inning when Ausmus took the bat out of Kinsler’s hands and watched a budding rally crumble during the next two at bats. It was a poor choice, but failing to score at all against Kyle Gibson isn’t solely on the manager. Joe Nathan came in for the 9th to get some work and it wasn’t exactly an impressive tune-up, as he loaded the bases and walked in a run before getting yanked for Phil Coke who escaped the jam. The Tigers could not come back against Perkins despite a Castellanos double and fell to 34-29 on the season. It’ll be Anibal Sanchez (10 GS, 56.1 IP, 2.24 ERA, 2.34 FIP, 1.8 fWAR) tomorrow afternoon.
The Moment: Phil Coke keeps things from getting worse in the 9th.
I’m really frustrated with every opposing pitcher being “really good tonight.” I can accept low run scoring or getting shut out by Darvish, Sale, King Felix, etc. But when John Danks, Kyle Gibson, Drew Hutchison and JA Happ are shutting you down, things have gone terribly wrong.
Here here! The 6/14 Sanchez game aside, the Tigers don’t have a problem facing good pitching (everyone does)–they seem to have a problem facing pitching period.
I’m starting to think the Tigers are too relaxed (Rod Allen, during the slump, was always saying the Tigers were happy and relaxed, having a good time, etc. before the game). They need to start getting sick of losing, instead of ‘oh, were just in a slump, but we’re veterans, so we’ll get out of it, so we’re chill’. It’s seems like it’s ‘Manny being Manny’ but applied to the entire team. They need to get mad and fired up and try hard. That’s different from ‘pressing’. I think Cabby’s starting to press, trying to carry the team, and thus getting into some really nasty outs. He needs to go into the clubhouse, with Victor, and say in unison to everyone else (except Suarez and maybe J.D.)–‘you all stink right now’.
In the past I always blamed the hitting coach, but he’s in Seattle now. This is Ausmus’s first taste of adversity, and I don’t think he’s handling it very well. Again, I think he’s TOO chill. How much of this mess is the fault of the (new) coaching staff?
Finally–Worth in bullpen, please. I think resigning Valverde might be an upgrade.