Guardians 9, Tigers 8 (10 innings): Big comeback falls a little short

Bless You Boys

Coming off a sweep in Cincinnati and a Monday night 1-0 victory, the Tigers fought back from a huge early deficit to tie the game late, but lost 9-8 in ten innings. The winning streak ended at four; well, I guess it was nice while it lasted.

Getting the start for the Tigers was Kenta Maeda, and we all know what sort of season he’s been having. His last start was a clunker in a rain-shortened loss in Minnesota, and three of his previous four starts had been, shall we say, less than stellar. But… sigh… here we went again.

Ben Lively, who’s in his fifth season but first real, full season this year, took the hill for the visitors. He’s been up-and-down with the Phillies, Royals and Reds since 2017, but has found his footing in Cleveland this year. His numbers or stuff won’t wow you — he doesn’t strike out a guy an inning, he gives up some walks, he gives up some home runs, he doesn’t throw particularly hard — and he’s been a little lucky (4.22 FIP vs. 3.14 ERA). But he’s generally been getting the job done so far, which is more than you can say for Maeda, frankly.

As for Mr. Maeda… well, things started rough and went downhill quickly from there. In the first, dingers from Angel Martínez and Josh Naylor put Cleveland up 3-0. Then, after a 1-2-3 second, a walk and errant pickoff attempt, a pair of singles and a double ended Maeda’s day with the Tigers down 6-0. Joey Wentz came in and walked a pair to load the bases with two out, but a strikeout of light-hitting Austin Hedges thankfully ended the inning.

We need to talk about Maeda, though. I know this isn’t a “win now” kind of team, but really, how long can the Tigers continue to run Maeda out for starts and get clobbered (2 ⅔ innings today, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 HR)? I don’t think you can compare his contract to, say, Jordan Zimmermann’s — which was a giant albatross, of course — but moving Maeda to the bullpen to get some value out of him might be… alright? I wish I had the answer.

The Tigers got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the third with a Colt Keith home run to right after a Matt Vierling single, making it 6-2.

Wentz got into a jam in the fourth with a two-out double, steal of third and walk, but he got the colourfully-named, hard-hitting youngster Jhonkensy Noel to ground out to third and that ended the threat.

With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Gio Urshela hit a triple to the left field corner and was cashed-in by a Wenceel Pérez groundout to cut the lead to 6-3. A light rain began to fall, as the remnants of Hurricane Beryl began to run into southeastern Michigan.

In the sixth, Cleveland pushed the lead back out to four: a pair of singles and a Keystone Kops-esque set of fielding mistakes put runners on second and third with none out. Beau Brieske took over for Wentz and allowed a run on a groundout, but it could’ve been much worse.

In the bottom of the frame Keith hit a sharp leadoff single, and with one out Carson Kelly singled to right to put runners on the corners. Then, in a huge turn of events, Urshela closed the gap to one run with a three-run blast to left-centre to make it 7-6.

Justyn-Henry Malloy thought that hitting home runs looked like fun, and with two outs he turned a slider around to tie the score at seven.

We got ourselves a ball game here, folks!

Brieske carried on into the seventh and got the all-important shutdown inning after the Tigers tied the score, and at that point the bullpen (both Wentz and Brieske) had gone 4 ⅓ innings and only given up one run.

With one out in the eighth, Brieske took a comebacker off the knee (which was fielded by Zach McKinstry for an out); he was nearing the end of his outing anyway, but was removed as precautionary measure anyway. Andrew Chafin, who was already warming up, was brought in with two outs to face José Ramírez; he was intentionally walked so Chafin could face the lefty Naylor. But Chafin unintentionally walked Naylor to bring up dangerous right-handed pinch-hitter David Fry (who crushes left-handed pitching); he hit a fly ball to left which Riley Greene initially couldn’t track in the twilight, but eventually he figured it out, hauled it in, and a giant sigh of relief fell upon the land.

After an uneventful bottom of the eighth, Chafin carried through to the top of the ninth and he had it dialed-in for the two lefties he faced in the inning, striking out both. Will Vest was brought in to face the righty Tyler Freeman, who squeaked a single down the right field line, but Bo Naylor hit a fly ball to Greene in left to send this tie game to the bottom of the ninth.

Scott Barlow, who gave up the sole run of Monday night’s game, was brought in by Cleveland manager Steven Vogt. McKinstry walked with one out, and despite being picked off earlier in the game, he got a good jump and stole second. But with two outs, Keith lined out to left and we officially had some Bonus Baseball.

Bo Naylor was the Manfred Man and Steven Kwan singled to put runners on the corners. A groundout to first advanced Kwan to second but Naylor did not score, and Ramírez was intentionally walked for a third time in the game to load the bases with one out. Josh Naylor hit a soft single to centre to score his brother and put Cleveland up 8-7. Brayan Rocchio hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Kwan and make it 9-7.

Emmanual Clase, the tough Cleveland closer, was brought in to nail down the victory. A sacrifice fly to the right field warning track from Carson Kelly scored Keith, who started the inning on second and took third on a groundout, and the Tigers were down to their last out, down a run. Urshela followed with a single to right; Akil Baddoo pinch-ran for Urshela and scampered to third on a Pérez single up the middle, bringing Malloy to the plate with runners on the corners. However, Malloy hit a fly ball to centre which was caught for the third out, and that was the game.

(Hey, look, when the Tigers were down 6-0 in the third to the division-leading team, did you think they’d take it to extra innings?)

Box Score: Cleveland 9, Detroit 8 (10 innings)

Jobewatch 2024

You can watch hot prospect Jackson Jobe’s next Double-A start for free on Thursday at 6:35 pm EDT. Details are here.

Comments from a new dad

Normally at the bottom of these articles I give a summary of a bunch of stats and whatnots. But since we have an two-week-old at home, here are a few things I’ll pass along.

  • To those out there who have had children… my hat’s off to you. Holy moly, is this a wild ride.
  • To those who have had more than one kid… what are you, nuts?! You did this crazy thing and thought, “Heck yeah, let’s do this all again!
  • To those of you who haven’t had the pleasure (yet)… be prepared to have your life fully and thoroughly changed, in ways you could never imagine.
  • To those of you who are never planning on having kids… I understand. I really do.

Articles You May Like

Max Clark and Kevin McGonigle promoted to High-A West Michigan
GameThread: Tigers vs. Blue Jays, 1:37 p.m.
Orioles, Dodgers Have Discussed Tarik Skubal With Tigers
Tigers 5, Blue Jays 4: Flaherty deals, Canha and Pérez provide the thump
2024 MLB All-Star Game Full Game Highlights (7/16/24) | MLB Highlights

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *