“Today is a hard day for everybody:’ Tigers come out flat after trade deadline

Detroit News

Pittsburgh – Having to play a game on trade deadline day is a challenge. It’s not easy to keep your head in the scouting reports and the game plan while you’re scrolling through your social media platforms to see if you or your teammates get traded.

“Yeah, today is a hard day for everybody,” said Tigers’ starter Matt Manning after enduring a fatal three-run second inning Tuesday night in the Tigers’ 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. “It’s a tough day to pitch in, trying to lock in for a game and also wondering if your buddies are going to be there before or after the game.

“It’s one of those things were you just put your head down and get to work.”

One of Manning’s rotation mates, Michael Lorenzen, was traded to the Phillies. Another rotation mate, Eduardo Rodriguez, is sticking around.

More: Tigers’ Eduardo Rodriguez nixes trade to Dodgers

“Mike was awesome,” Manning said. “It’s tough seeing him go. I kept refreshing the page and hoping he’d slip through and stay with us for another couple of months. I learned a lot from him. I’m going to keep in touch with him for as long as I can.”

The damage against Manning came quick in the second inning. He hung a breaking ball that Endy Rodriguez whacked for an RBI triple. He scored on a two-run homer by Liover Peguero, who blasted a 1-0, center-cut slider.

BOX SCORE: Pirates 4, Tigers 1

“Kind of a frustrating game for me,” he said. “I think I had some really good stuff, but I paid for it when I left balls over the plate. But I’m happy with the aggressiveness I’m pitching with right now. I think over time it’s going to translate well.

He settled in after the second and ended up striking out six in six innings.

“He made some mistakes early and paid for it,” manager AJ Hinch said. “But he finished strong with the same breaking ball combo to a lot of the same hitters and got them out.”

The Tigers’ offense was held in check by right-hander Johan Oviedo, who breezed through seven innings. Akil Baddoo’s RBI single in the seventh was the only blemish.

“We didn’t do a ton to put pressure on him,” Hinch said. “We talk about pitching with a lead, he did a good job of pounding the zone when he had the lead.”

Hinch is no stranger to the distractions of trade deadline day. But he’s not accepting it as an excuse.

“We’ve got to focus on what we can control,” he said. “Which is playing more competitive baseball and winning more games. That’s the reality.”

Hinch was preparing to replace two veteran starters in his rotation. He now only has to replace one. Rodriguez will start on Wednesday. As for filling Lorenzen’s spot, Joey Wentz is a candidate, but Hinch wasn’t ready to set anything in stone.

“Eduardo will pitch tomorrow, then we have an off-day Thursday,” he said. “We didn’t know what was going to happen so, for now, Reese Olson will pitch Friday and Tarik Skubal on Saturday. There are a lot of scenarios in play. We’re talking about a different vibe with Michael getting traded.

“We have some alterations to make.”

mfalkner@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @cmccosky  

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