In the Battle for the American League Central, the Tigers won (lost?) and the Royals lost (won?) in the first game of three that will help to decide who wins (loses?) the ignominious title of being the worst team in the worst division in baseball. The Tigers pulled out (pushed in?) a 4-3 victory (loss?) and handed the Royals a loss (win?).
It was an unlucky and unfortunate game for the Royals, whose pitchers suffered bunt hits, infield hits, and overturned calls, and whose offense hit line drives hit right at defenders for double plays.
The Royals certainly had their chances in tonight’s game. Early on, they converted them. Hunter Dozier has been on a bit of a hot streak lately, having hit .364/.417/.591 over his last seven games. He put the Royals on the board with a two-run blast in the second inning.
Then, in the fourth inning, Edward Olivares notched a hit and was tripled in by Nate Eaton, both of whom are making strong cases to get more regular playing time next year. The run put the Royals up 3-0.
With Zack Greinke...dealing? Well, not quite dealing; he only struck out two Tigers on the day, both of whom being the equally ancient Miguel Cabrera. Humming along? Sure, let’s go with that. With Greinke humming along, it sure looked like those three runs would be all the Royals needed. Greinke kept getting soft contact and easy fly balls, and while there weren’t any highlight plays, Greinke sailed through seven innings without allowing a run.
Of course, you could see that the Tigers, in fact, scored multiple runs. It was an unfortunate eighth inning for sure. Dylan Coleman stepped up to the mound, and here’s how it went:
- Spencer Torkelson walk. Tork walks in 9.4% of plate appearances, so it wasn’t the rarest thing in the world.
- Jonathan Schoop hits a blooper down the third base line. Eaton doesn’t really have a lot of good choices and throws to second. Originally called out, the play is reversed and Tork stays.
- Tucker Barnhart flies out on a nice play by Kyle Isbel. Alright!
- Akil Baddoo gets the most beautiful, perfect, impossible-to-defend bunt of all time and loads the bases. Not alright!
- Riley Greene hits a ground ball to third base, and Eaton tries to get the out at home. He does not. The Tigers get a run, the Royals lose a challenge, and Detroit has loaded the bases and scored a run whilst only hitting one ball beyond the infield.
- Harold Castro singles to left field, scoring two and tying the game up.
The Tigers finally pushed through in the 10th inning, as the Royals seemed very insistent on giving them lots of baserunners. By the end of the frame, the Royals had intentionally walked two Tigers, who, along with the ghost runner, meant that none of the Tigers batters on base had gotten there by hitting the ball out of the infield. This cursed eighth inning reprise ended up with—what do you know—a Harold Castro single.
Tomorrow, these two awful teams will continue to play riveting bad baseball that no one is around to watch and ultimately has no consequences because both teams already fired their GMs in the past two months. Wheee!