There were a lot of things I wanted to write in this recap. I wanted to write about a Tigers win, first and foremost. I wanted to write about a blowout, with Schoop finding his groove, Meadows launching a home run, and the Tigers using the home-field advantage to shake off the cobwebs and put an ugly road trip behind them.
I can’t write about any of those things.
If you’re a silver-linings kind of person, there are some good things to note about this game. While Michael Pineda was responsible for the game’s two runs, he also looked pretty solid and if the Tigers offense had offered literally anything to help him out, we wouldn’t even be too upset about those two runs. He did 6.2 innings of quality work and ended the game with a line of 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR on 94 pitches. I mean, was it great? No. But we’ve seen a lot worse.
The defense was also pretty good with Javier Báez and Spencer Torkelson being the standouts in the field.
Now let’s get into the ugly reality of the game. Things were pretty quiet for the first two innings with the teams trading first-inning singles (Neuse for the A’s, Báez for the Tigers). Smith got a second-inning triple in the top of the second but no runs scored, and the Tigers went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second.
In the third the A’s drew first blood with a Kemp solo home run. The Tigers managed a single from Barnhart in the bottom of the third but it was a classic TTBDNS. In the fourth the A’s put Murphy on with a leadoff double, and he then advanced to third on a Brown flyout, and if you’re an 80s/90s baby please tell me you also laugh at the Murphy/Brown lineup order. Anyway, with Murphy on third a Pinder single scored the runner and put the A’s up 2-0. Meadows doubled for the Tigers in the bottom of the inning, but again, no runs scored.
Things got a little rough for Pineda in the fifth, with a one-out walk to Barrera, but he was quickly erased by the fielder’s choice. Then Neuse walked, but a strikeout ended the inning and the threat. The Tigers didn’t even bother to threaten this time, just going 1-2-3 to end their half of the inning.
The sixth was a nothing inning for both teams. I guess if you’re a fan of speedy games that’s another positive here.
Pineda got two outs in the seventh, but a Barrera single chased him from the game and Chafin came on to get the last out of the inning. Schoop did get a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh, but alas, no runs scored.
The eighth was another 1-2-3 outing for both teams. But worth noting, Rony Garcia looked really good in relief.
The top of the ninth was a smooth, hitless affair, and then it was onto the bottom and the last opportunity for the Tigers to make this tweet a moot point:
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run double on Saturday. Those are the only runs the offense has scored in the past 32 innings.
The Tigers are yet to score more than three runs in a single game in the month of May.
— Tony Garcia (@RealTonyGarcia) May 10, 2022
Grossman got a leadoff walk. Javy Báez got saucy with the umpire, and some choice words were shared that got Hinch ejected from the game… and then ejected again? No, it looks like Báez got ejected first then Hinch got ejected. The strike that caused this drama was borderline, so this was a bit of fire for not much purpose. A strike later called on Miguel Cabrera, however, wasn’t even borderline. Yikes. Grossman advanced to second on defensive indifference with two outs. Meadows walked, putting two men on.
I’m not trying to defend the umpire because he’s doing really, really bad work, but I have to wonder if that confrontation shook him up, because after the ejections his calls just went from bad to downright egregious.
Anyway, Schoop struck out and the game was over.
Final: A’s 2, Tigers 0