The Detroit Tigers worked hard during the season to shore up their vulnerable bullpen, and despite those efforts, a lack of dependable relief arms took a dramatic toll Sunday.
Leyland still has yet to reveal what his starting rotation will look like during the postseason or who will get the nod as the number one starter against a likely opponent in Oakland.
While Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander and others – have been instrumental in the team’s success, so have Benoit and Porcello.
The Tigers have played 150 games over the last 169 days, a schedule that definitely qualifies as a grind, but the enthusiasm for the rest of the year grows strong as the postseason gets even closer.
David Ortiz hit two of Boston’s eight homers and also doubled for his 2,000th career hit on Wednesday night to lead the Red Sox to a 20-4 romp over the Detroit Tigers.
All that improvement, and then … a game like Thursday.
If the Cleveland Indians are to overtake Detroit atop the AL Central, they’ll need Masterson to continue his home success and help end their recent struggles against the Tigers.
Tigers starter Rick Porcello was certainly good enough to earn a win Sunday in Tampa Bay.
Jeremy Hellickson earned his fifth June win and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 3-1 Sunday in a game that included an early warning by the umpires.
The bottom line is that Detroit starters have lasted just five innings or fewer in four of the last five games.
The last five starting pitching performances might have stripped some of that confidence – and with good reason.