ANAHEIM, Calif. —- The bitter taste of defeat!
Detroit Tigers’ left handed relief pitcher Phil Coke, turned and watched his mistake take flight through the air of Southern California and sail over the left field fence and the sweep of the Tigers by the Los Angeles Angels this weekend was completed.
Angels’ first baseman Mark Trumbo looked at the change-up thrown by Coke float across the plate in a perfect place and he ended the game in the 13th inning with his second home run of the season and giving the Angels a 4-3, victory against the Tigers.
After working two innings, Coke walked off the field and into the dugout visibly upset, he slammed his mitt against the bench and he utter words that he made sure that he could hear but with all of the theatrics of emotion it did not change the fact-he lost another game for the Tigers.
“It wasn’t a bad pitch, just a little higher than I wanted and Trumbo is a big kid.” Coke said.
The Tigers started the nine-game road trip to the West Coast against at the time one of the hottest teams in major league baseball the Oakland Athletics. The Tigers’ bats and the pitching cooled off the Athletics before the moved up the coast to face the Seattle Mariners and before returning to Anaheim, California and what started out looking like a real good trip would end up to be a so-so road trip.
“We had a chance to have a real good road trip but ended up with not a bad trip,” Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said.
The Tigers ended the nine-game road trip with a record of 4-5 and come back home to Detroit carrying their luggage and a four-game losing streak.
The Tigers offense will have its moments in the sunshine to shine. When they all will be seeing the baseball because it will be as big as a beach ball and they will be able to put the ball into orbit but this offense will also have a tendency to get sour fast.
Last season, Leyland persevered last summer watching too many runners being left in scoring position and batters that looked like there was no plan at the plate except to just go up into the batters box and take a hack.
Most of the hacking would send batters back walking toward the dugout, handing the bat back to the batboy, finding the seat that they had previously left and sat back down and watch the action.
The Tigers are falling back into that bad habit again!
The Tigers batters should have plenty of chances to flex the hitting power that they possess but failed and suddenly what looked like an offense that could make a lot of pitchers concern-did not look so great.
The three games against the Angels, the Tigers could only manage 23 runs and only batted a healthy .115 with runners in scoring position.
Sunday the Angels’ starting pitcher C.J. Wilson was able to work out of trouble in the first inning and again in the second inning by getting the Tigers out ending bases-loaded scoring threats twice.
The Tigers found themselves with the bases loaded three times and so far this season the Tigers are 2 for 23 in bases-loaded situations.
They scored one run against Wilson in the first inning and the opportunity in the second inning was there for the taking but instead the Tigers scored nothing.
Saturday afternoon before anybody could get comfortable in their seats at the Big A, the Angels scored nine runs against Tigers’ starter Rick Porcello in the first inning and the route was on, the Tigers were defeated 10-0 making the 8-1 defeat Friday night even harder to swallow.
“He was a little wild, a little rusty and a little unlucky,” Leyland said about Porcello Saturday afternoon. “You don’t want to make it sound like it was all unlucky because it wasn’t but I also don’t want to say he was bad,bad,bad.”
“I can’t stand there on the mound and think about luck, I need to make pitches,” Porcello said. “I did my best to dig deep especially when I began to feel pressure but it just didn’t happen for me.”
Porcello face 11 batters and threw 47 pitches and could not find strike three on six batters that he had two strikes on them only to lose them. He watched his ERA inflate from a 5.11 to and embarrassing 11.08.
Porcello now shares a bit of Detroit Tigers’ history with Hank Borowy; he is the last Tiger that gave up nine runs in one inning. Way back on Aug. 18, 1951, Borowy gave up nine in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Browns. The Tigers lost 20-9, to the Browns.
Opening the three-game series Friday night April 19, 2013 and once again the Tigers could not find the knock out hit against the Angels and their starting pitcher Tommy Hanson.
Hanson worked six innings giving up six hits and walking four but the Tigers could not get the hit that would change the game.
The Tigers left at least one man on base over the first five innings against Hanson.
“We didn’t play a very good game.” Leyland said after Friday night’s game. “We couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it.”
Anibal Sanchez started Friday night’s game for the Tigers and against the Angels and he worked with two out in the seventh inning giving up 11 hits and three runs two were earned runs.
“We had our share of big hits tonight,” Angel’s manager Mike Scioscia said at his desk after the game Friday night.
The trip started out on a good note in Oakland it was like a breath of fresh air under the blue sky and the golden sunshine in California, a trip to the great northwest only to spin out of control and come to a sudden disappointment crash in Southern California.
The Tigers will open up a three-game home stand, Tuesday night at Comerica Park with the much improved Kansas City Royals. The game is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.
Leyland and the Tigers are hoping that some good old fashion home cooking taste better than the bitter taste that they have had to endure from the west coast.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.