Austin Jackson received possibly the only standing ovation of the night in his return to Detroit in a Seattle uniform.
He may have received an even bigger one for posting a classic Jackson 0-5 against his old team had the Tiger bats solved Mariner pitching.
A 7-2 loss at the hands of the Mariners was less than needed considering the recent fanbase panic, Joe Nathan’s relative dismissive attitude towards Tiger fans, and Victor Martinez’s postgame comments asking for support.
Rick Porcello had been lights out in his last ten starts, but following a three run second inning, the Mariner offense, that apparently actually exists, had him pegged.
For Rick, it wasn’t so much upper part of the order that bothered him. Robinson Cano was 2-3 off Rick with an RBI, but Jackson, Ackley and Morales combined for a 1-9 with no RBI’s.
The 5 and 7-9 hitter each posted an RBI off Porcello, (Kyle Seager, Logan Morrison, Endy Chavez, and Chris Taylor respectively), sinking the sinkerballer to 13-8.
Rookie lefthander James Paxton was almost silently dominant. The 25 year-old British Columbia native struck out just two, walked one, and gave up five hits in six innings of work.
Perhaps the lone bright spot for the Tigers was in the debut of reliever Melvin Mercedes.
Mercedes struck out two in two innings of work. The 6’3” 250 pound Dominican Republic native pitches and stands in shades of a younger Jose Valverde.
The rookie had a 0.96 ERA at Single A Lakeland in 2013 in 24 outings before being promoted to AA Lake Erie, where he posted a similarly impressive 1.44 ERA in 26 outings.
Mercedes had posted a rather pedestrian 4.33 ERA in 41 outings at AAA Toledo, but with the Tigers still feeling the effects of the 19 inning outing at Toronto, Dombrowski needed to dip into his farm system even further.
Mercedes wielded a sharp breaking ball with a fastball that touched 95 on occasion against the Mariners in his debut, and caught more than one Mariner hitters looking before giving way to Ian Krol who gave up the final run of the night.
The battle for the scuffling Tiger bats gets no easier in the next outing. Though David Price is set to make his Comerica Park debut as a Tiger, he’ll face off with the runaway AL Cy Young favorite in Felix Hernandez.
King Felix is boasting a purely ridiculous 1.95 ERA, and has what ESPN called the nastiest pitch in baseball, his changeup.
Sure, talking about it is fun, but when opponents have struck out 106 times and recorded 225 outs on it while managing just 36 hits according to ESPN’s latest data, it’s fairly clear that it isn’t to be trifled with, let alone swung at.
The Tigers dropped back to 65-55, and now are tied with the Mariners for the second AL Wild Card Spot to a game back of the Royals, who were up 5-3 on the Twins in the 6th inning as the Tigers reached the clubhouse.
Not only did the Tigers flop in the game, a manufacturer botched Miguel Cabrera bobblehead night.