Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tigers Lose 10-4 in Ugly Start to Doubleheader

It was not alarming when rookie left hander Adam Wilk struggled versus a very dangerous Rangers line-up in the series opener on Thursday night.  However, a little better was expected from today's starter Rick Porcello, who was coming off two strong outings.  Instead, he allowed nine runs on ten hits in just one inning of work and saw his season ERA balloon to 6.32. 

There were a few lucky hits and some sloppy defense, but there were enough hard-hit balls to say it was a disastrous outing for Porcello.  He was throwing strikes, but serving up too many fat pitches.  I won't analyze it further than that.  We can only hope he gets back on track in his next start.

The primary source of poor defense mentioned above was Brandon Inge who looked like a third baseman trying to play second base for the first time.  He muffed a double play ball in the first inning on a poor decision and a bad throw and ended up getting nobody.  He also failed to convert two make-able plays on grounders which could have been handled by a good second baseman.  By good second baseman, I'm talking about someone like Ramon Santiago rather than Ryan Raburn.

I have been more willing than many others to see how Inge adjusts to a platoon role at second base. However, if he's not going to be a strong defender, there is no point in experimenting any further.  They already have a poor defensive right-handed second baseman who is not hitting.  At least, we can expect Raburn to provide some offense at some point.  Some fear that the Tigers will not release Inge no matter how poorly he plays.  Given that he was released just last year, I think that is an irrational worry though and that he's actually on a short leash.

On a positive note, Austin Jackson continued to display his early season power with his third homer.  It was his first hit of any kind in four games.  Additionally, Miguel Cabrera had three hits including his first home run in 10 games.  Hopefully, that's a sign he is ready to take off again. 

So, the Tigers have lost the first two games of the series 10-3 and 10-4 which is reminiscent of a similar blow out  in game six of last year's American League Championship Series.  Tonight, they will attempt to get back to their winning ways behind ace Justin Verlander.       

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