Legends On Deck

Tigers’ Struggles Continue In 8-4 Loss To Pirates

Joba Chamberlin was able to keep the Pirates scoreless on Thursday afternoon but other members of the Tigers pitching staff struggled.  (Gabe Rodriguez)

Joba Chamberlin was able to keep the Pirates scoreless on Thursday afternoon but other members of the Tigers pitching staff struggled.
(Gabe Rodriguez)

The Detroit Tigers started off the 2015 season by first going 7-0 and then showing the possible dominance they could have atop the American League Central Division even though they were without Justin Verlander in the starting rotation. But, even with the loss of Max Scherzer to the Nationals and Rick Porcello to the Red Sox, Detroit was proving that they were still contenders…..until mid-May that is.

The Tigers are now at .500 on the season (39-39) after today’s 8-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Now six and half games back in the AL Central the third place Tigers’ put Kyle Ryan (ERA 4.55) on the mound for the start today in his fourth start of the season.  Ryan took Shane Greene‘s spot in the starting rotation after the righty was demoted to Triple-A Toledo a few weeks ago after struggling throughout the month of May after a strong month of April.

Ryan went just four innings on a high 94 pitches allowing two runs on three hits, walking five and striking out four.  Al Alburquerque (ERA 3.21) pitched the fifth inning allowing two more hits by the Pirates and another run and LHP Blaine Hardy (ERA 2.75) then pitched the sixth and seventh innings allowing three hits and one run, making it a 4-0 Pirates’ lead.

The Tigers were able to get on the board in the bottom of the eighth with a three run homer by J.D. Martinez on a fly ball to right center field putting them back in it with a 4-3 ballgame.

But, Detroit’s woes after Joba Chamberlain (ERA 4.09) pitched a solid one-hit eighth inning, Bruce Rondon started the ninth and was able to only get one out, allowing four hits and four runs by Pittsburgh which included RBI doubles by Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker. Rondon was then replaced by LHP Tom Gorzelanny (ERA 6.75) who was able to get out of the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Ian Kinsler was able to drive in Jose Iglesias with a ground-rule double on a line drive to left field but the Tigers were unable to overcome the deficit and fell to the Pirates.

So, with the trade deadline quickly approaching what moves should the Tigers make? Should they made a move for a starting pitcher since Verlander is suffering a setback after starting just three games? Should they get some offensive help, perhaps trade Alex Avila since James McCann is doing a stellar job behind the plate?

Fans shall see soon what Detroit’s plan is but for now, they move on to the weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays which will start tomorrow with RHP Anibal Sanchez (ERA 4.63, 6-7) taking the start against RHP Drew Hutchinson (ERA 4.99, 8-1).

Bethany Cohen

Bethany Cohen

Senior Editor at Legends On Deck®
Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for Examiner.com and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany
Bethany Cohen