The Detroit Tigers may have swept the Cleveland Guardians in four straight earlier this season at home for the first time since the Reagan Administration, but in the end, it would be their Central Division rivals who would emerge victorious in the season series as a whole. With last night's 8-4 victory over the visiting Tigers at Progressive Field, the Guardians took 10 of the 19 meetings in 2022. And unfortunately for the Tigers, things completely fell apart when reliever Andrew Chafin entered the game in the 8th inning after his teammates had built a 4-2 lead.
Despite earning strikeouts on the first three Guardians batters that he faced, Chafin and the Tigers would subsequently surrender six hits and six runs as 11 members of the opposition stepped up to bat. And it began in bizarre fashion, as Chafin struck out Cleveland's Luke Maile only to have the ball bounce off home plate and get away from catcher Eric Haase; Maile was able to reach safely.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time in the expansion era that began in 1961 that a team scored six or more runs after striking out three times. And if that weren't enough for the Detroit Tigers, it was also the first time since 1974 that a team has struck out four times in an inning and yet still put six runs up on the board.
Guardians in the 8th tonight: struck out 3 times, THEN scored 6 times
Tonight was the 1st time in at least the Expansion Era (since 1961) that a team scored 6+ runs in an inning AFTER striking out 3 times
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 18, 2022
Tonight was the first time since inning-by-inning data began in 1974 that a team struck out 4 times in an inning and scored 6+ runs.
— Jason Beck (@beckjason) August 18, 2022
The Detroit Tigers are the 1st team in the expansion era earning that feat
“It's not a nice game,” said Chafin in the clubhouse afterward. “It's going to get you like that sometimes. You just have to roll with it.”
“I'm not sure if I've seen that before,” Chafin continued. “Obviously I'm frustrated with the results, but how we got there, it's like, ‘Oh we did good.' No you didn't.”
“I just didn’t complete the play and that’s extremely frustrating seeing how it played out,” Haase said. “We just gave them the slightest bit of window to creep back in and unfortunately that’s all they needed.”
The Tigers return home for a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels that begins tomorrow night at Comerica Park.