Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Miami Marlins VS Detroit Tigers, Overview


There weren’t too many series that I would make a return trip to a city where there was a big event a couple weeks prior than this one between the Miami Marlins at Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park from May 13-15.

The 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit from April 25-27, is very fresh in my mind. There were a few good stories and some nice videos that will all be on our platform within the next seven days.

But covering the Marlins and Tigers was special because for 40 years, I covered the Tigers. 

I joined the Marlins in 2020 and have really found this working relationship enjoyable. I couldn’t think of a better manager to work with than my friend Don Mattingly and now Skip Schumaker.

It was great covering the entire three-game series. 

My camera phone captured photos of my colleagues in Detroit as well as those in Miami. On the Marlins side, it was great to see Jessica Blaylock, Kelly Saco, Coach Jody Reed, announcers Paul Severino and Rod Allen, who like myself, was a part of the Tigers.

On the Detroit side, it was nice meeting writer Dawn Klemish, new Tigers play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti, Craig Monroe, broadcaster John Keating, Jennifer Hammond, and Tigers legend Dan Petry, who was a key player on the Tigers 1984 World Series Championship team. It was great seeing my buddy Ted Kulfan, who is the Detroit Red Wings beat writer.

I have to admit that covering the three games in Detroit gave me an opportunity to see the development around Comerica Park which was tremendous. 

Taking a picture at the statue of Barry Sanders outside of Ford Field was awesome. Sanders is my all-time favorite running back. I covered the Lions at the Pontiac Silverdome when Sanders was rushing up the record books en route to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

What’s happened to Detroit having three sports venues under a half mile for all of their four teams is remarkable and other cities should take note. The pictures tell the story.

In addition to this series summary, I had the opportunity to interview Miami Marlins outfielder and former Tigers prospect Dane Myers and Petry. Those will be separate stories.

The Marlins entered this series with an 11-31 mark while Detroit was 20-20. On the surface, this series had a three-game sweep by Detroit all over it.

But that’s why you play the games.

All three games were close.

The Marlins had a 5-3 lead into the bottom half of the eighth. But the Tigers rallied for three runs and won the contest 6-5, thanks to a two run-homer by Spencer Torkelson. Matt Manning pitched 5.2 innings and gave up three runs and had a no-decision. 

The Tigers bullpen shut down the Marlins by getting solid performances by Alex Faedo who improved his record to 3-1 and Jason Foley notched his 10th save.

It’s hard to believe that after game one, the Tigers wouldn’t score another run in the series. But that’s what transpired in games two and three.

Game two seemed like yesteryear as we saw an old-fashioned pitchers duel.

Miami received a stellar performance by Ryan Weathers, who went eight scoreless innings, yielding three hits and striking out four, but would end up getting a no-decision.

Reese Olson was dynamite for Detroit as he went eight scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out six.

But this game went to the bullpens and Miami won 1-0 in 10 innings. 

The ghost runner Bryan De La Cruz scored the winning run for Miami, and Tanner Scott got the win improving his record to 2-4. AJ Puk earned his first save of the season.

Alex Lange’s record dropped to 0-3.

In the rubber game on Wednesday, May 15, this turned out to be an interesting pitching match-up.

Marlins pitcher Trevor Rogers, who was an all-star in 2021 entered the game with an 0-6 record and a 6.57 ERA. But he didn’t pitch that way against the Tigers as he faced Casey Mize, (1-1, 3.58 ERA). Mize is one of the Tigers top young pitchers.

Unfortunately for Mize, the top two hitters in the Marlins batting order turned him into a loser (1-2). 

Jazz Chisholm singled to lead off the game and De La Cruz belted a two run homer in the bottom of the first inning giving Miami a 2-0 lead, which would become the final score. Rogers won his first game of the season improving to 1-6.

One big moment in this game was when Marlins outfielder Dane Myers, a one-time Tigers prospect who never made it to Detroit, made his debut in the Motor City as he went 0-2. 

You’re never going to meet a nicer young man than Dane as you’re going to find out in that story.

The Tigers ended this series by going scoreless in 18 innings. 

Meanwhile, Miami won its first road series of the season.

The last time the Marlins recorded consecutive shutouts of nine of more innings on the road was three consecutive in 2004 from April 13-15 at the Montreal Expos.

The three games were decided by four runs. 

It turned out to be an amazing series and homecoming for myself.

I found myself talking to George Eichorn and referring to the Tigers as you guys, while I was on the Marlins side. 

It felt weird, but that’s the way it is.

While I saw the Tigers take on the Marlins last year at Loan Depot Park last summer, this just felt much different. But with inter-league play where every team faces each other once, it’s time to get used to the new reality.

After the series, the Marlins went on to win 2-3 versus the Mets at home including an 8-0 shellacking on Friday Night. Miami went on to have a four-game winning streak.

Meanwhile, Detroit traveled to Arizona and took their frustrations out on the Diamondbacks winning their first contest 13-0 then hammered the snakes 8-3 on Saturday Night.

But at least I can see these two teams play every year.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter/X @TribuneSouth. 

To see his broadcasts, subscribe to the South Florida Tribune.

Scott wrote a book “Lessons From The Microphone” which talks about Old School Media Vs New School Media. It’s available on Amazon/Kindle and Barnes & Noble.

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