The Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch didn't hold back in his post-game presser on how bad of a start it was for a struggling team. The team dropped their opening game of their four-game set with the Minnesota Twins 9-3 in an abysmal effort. Joey Wentz started and could not put hitters away with two strikes, giving up eight earned runs in three innings, the most by a Tigers starter all season. The Tigers drop to 49-63, 14 games under .500, their lowest mart of the season.
Inside the Article:
What A.J. Hinch said about the Rough Loss to Twins
After the game Hinch spoke to the media about Wentz's rough start, the need for fresh arms after utilizing the bullpen so much, and Alex Lange's outing. You don't want to read into too much, because it has to be hard to do this part of the job after a frustrating loss, but clearly, there's frustration.
On Getting Down So Early
“It's a bad morale day from the get go…we need to get away from this one because it was ugly from the beginning.”
Getting down four runs after the opposition throws nine men to the plate in the opening frame is never a recipe for success. It definitely contributed to the “bad morale day” but Hinch did speak to the mindset of needing to stay competitive and the desire to chip away, though that crept farther and farther away as the lead continued to expand in the second inning.
On Joey Wentz's Start
“if you don't have a pitch to go to other than fastballs…he didn't get into good counts, he didn't have pitches to go to, and they made it count.”
Wentz went three innings, gave up 10 hits, and eight earned runs. His misses were middle-middle often, without any competitive pitches threatening the zone with two strikes. He nibbled around the edges but wasn't really close and the Twins took advantage of his miscues.
On the Taxed Bullpen
Tigers relievers were needed to get 18 outs for the Tigers tonight. They used “everyone who was available” according to Hinch, which included: Beau Brieske, Tyler Holton, Jason Foley, Alex Lange, and position player Zach Short for the ninth. This was Short's second appearance in four days, pitching Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. Hinch did mention that he'd be going back and having the discussion around “fresh arms” after his meeting with the media because tonight “put them in a bind.”
The Bottom Line
Tonight's game got out of hand rather quickly. The frustrations of the current slide can clearly be seen and do need to be addressed. Is there a roster shake-up coming? Probably not, but something needs to be figured out. It starts with getting fresh arms or the bullpen that is clearly taxed and crossing the fingers that Eduardo Rodriguez can get some length in his start tomorrow to save some of those arms. The frustration will continue to build for a team that struggles offensively, but being put in such a hole from the first batter of the game has to change.