Ace relievers feeling wrath of Tigers hitters
Kansas City, Mo. — They did it again.
Among the many unusual characteristics of the Tigers' 2016 season is their uncanny ability to produce against some of the best relievers in the game.
On Friday, Miguel Cabrera beat Royals closer Wade Davis with a two-run single in the ninth inning. Sunday, Justin Upton hit a two-run, game-winning home run off Joakim Soria in the eighth.
“We seem for whatever reason to have confidence and have good at-bats against back-end relievers — setup men and closers,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “Not all of the time, but against some of the better ones, we have good at-bats.”
When asked if he had a theory on why they’ve had the ability to produce against late-inning relievers, Ausmus shrugged.
“We’re a good-hitting team,” he said. “I don’t know if the concentration goes up or if there is some momentum because we did it a lot early in the year. But our guys feel like we have a chance regardless of the pitcher.”
Andrew Romine maybe explained it the best.
“We’re fighters, man,” he said. “If we go down, we’re going to come back. We’re not going to give up, no matter what the score is.”
Or who is pitching, apparently.
Here’s a look at some of the damage the Tigers have done late in games against some of the top setup men and closers.
|April 14||Pirates||Tony Watson||3-run eighth inning|
|May 15||Orioles||Darren O'Day||J.D. Martinez-Miguel Cabrera HRs eighth inning|
|June 2||Yankees||Betances-Miller-Chapman||3 runs in 3.2 innings|
|June 4||White Sox||Matt Albers||3 runs in seventh and eighth innings|
|June 7||Blue Jays||Roberta Osuna||2-run ninth, Kinsler walk-off in 10th|
|June 16||Royals||Luke Hochevar||3-run seventh inning|
|June 23||Mariners||Steve Cishek||Walk-off wild pitch in 10th|
|July 3||Rays||Xavier Cedeno-Danny Farquhar||5 runs in eight-ninth innings|
|July 17||Royals||Joakim Soria||2-run game-winning HR by Jarrold Saltalamacchia|
|July 24||White Sox||David Robertson||Castellanos-Collins-Saltalamacchia HRs in ninth|
|July 27||Red Sox||Brad Ziegler||Game-winning HR Cabrera in ninth|
|July 30||Astros||Will Harris||2-run ninth, Jose Iglesias game-winning single|
|Aug. 18||Red Sox||Junichi Tazawa-Brad Ziegler||3-run eighth inning|
|Aug. 29||White Sox||Nate Jones||Saltalamacchia 2-run game-winning HR in eighth|
|Aug. 31||White Sox||David Robertson||Tyler Collins game-winning sac fly in ninth|
|Sept. 2||Royals||Wade Davis||2-run, game-wnning single by Cabrera in ninth|
|Sept. 4||Royals||Joakim Soria||2-run, game-winning homer by Upton in eighth|