The Tigers’ six-game winning streak came to a screeching halt on Wednesday night at Miller Park. Detroit pitchers had a tough time throwing strikes in an 8-5 loss to the Brewers, dropping the Tigers' record to 17-17 on the season.
For manager Ron Gardenhire, the game was tough to watch. Six Tigers pitchers went to the mound, and they walked a combined 10 batters -- and hit two more. Of the 10 walks, six runners scored.
“So that’s 12 free passes. You don’t win too many games [that way],” Gardenhire said. “Everybody [that] came in, they seemed to walk somebody or hit somebody. … Whether they are trying to be too fine, I don’t know.
“I have to go back and watch some things and see if the strike zone was tight. A lot of close pitches. The catchers on both sides were holding pitches, framing them. We weren’t getting [the calls], and they weren’t either. It went both ways.”
It went downhill in the bottom of the seventh inning. The game was tied at 5 when Milwaukee scored the go-ahead run. Reliever Joe Jiménez couldn’t find the strike zone. He walked a batter and hit another to start the frame. Before anyone knew it, the bases were loaded for Eric Sogard to hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Justin Smoak.
The Brewers added to their lead in the next inning off reliever Buck Farmer. After Christian Yelich walked for the fourth time in the game, Jace Petersen hit a two-run homer to make it a three-run game.
Starter Spencer Turnbull couldn’t get past the fifth inning on 89 pitches and received a no-decision. He was given an early 4-0 lead, but then the walks started piling up for him as well. He finished with five, including two back to back that set up Keston Hiura’s three-run homer in the third.
Turnbull had no excuses. Yes, he was dealing with back tightness. He labored on the mound. He said he felt fine for the first two innings and then had mechanical issues in the third. Turnbull was fighting himself after that.
“You started hearing [grunts] on the mound. When you start hearing grunts, he is getting a little tired,” Gardenhire said.
After Turnbull exited the game, John Schreiber entered and quickly allowed a game-tying two-run single to Omar Narváez.
The Tigers were looking for a ground ball from Schreiber with one out and runners on the corners, but he threw four straight balls to walk Avisaíl García to load the bases before allowing the hit to Narváez.
“I’m lost at that one. That didn’t make sense,” Gardenhire said.