Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tigers Get Squeezed by Rangers

The Tigers lost to the Rangers 3-2 today as the eventual winning run scored on a controversial squeeze play in the top of the 11th inning.  With the bases loaded and Tigers rookie right hander Thad Weber making his major league debut, Rangers third baseman laid down what appeared to be a perfect suicide squeeze scoring Nelson Cruz from third. The Tigers all looked confused on the play and Weber held onto the ball while everybody was safe.  At first, it appeared to be a rookie mistake but it turned out to be an umpire mistake as the ball had actually been fouled off Gonzalez's foot.  No further damage was done but the Rangers held on to win.

As frustrating as it was to see the Rangers score in that fashion, the fact is the Tigers did not play well in the series.  Detroit was outhit, out pitched, and outrun by a strong Rangers team and deserved to lose three of four.  The supposedly hard-hitting Tigers scored just 12 runs in 4 games as a team-wide offensive slump continued.  Starters Adam Wilk and Rick Porcello were shelled and their defense did not do them any favors. 

The one positive that came out of today's game was rookie Drew Smyly pitching another solid game against a tough Rangers line-up.  Smyly allowed a solo home run versus Texas slugger Josh Hamilton in the first, but not much else.  The young southpaw allowed just one run on five hits and two walks while striking out seven in six innings.  This was a big test for Smyly today and he passed it with flying colors.  It's beginning to look like the youngster could make an important contribution this season.

The Tigers don't face the Rangers again until June 24.  For now, they get a much needed day off (where their bullpen can rest) before hosting the Mariners in a three-game series at Comerica.

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