The Tigers led by three, with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, when things unraveled Wednesday night. Joba Chamberlain gave up a single, then another (a line shot Nick Castellanos said he should have caught), followed by a game-tying home run.
Inexplicably, Chamberlain stayed out for three more batters. All three singled, driving home the go-ahead run in what became a 7-6 Detroit loss.
This is a Brad Ausmus problem. The Tigers’ second-year manager actually strayed from his usual approach earlier in the game, pulling Al Alburquerque for Tom Gorzelanny in the sixth — at least an inning before Gorzelanny’s southpaw talents tend to be put to work.
When push came to shove in the eighth, though, Ausmus settled back into his unimaginative self. Chamberlain started the inning because, well, he’s the setup guy. Chamberlain remained on the mound until the scoreboard had flipped because, as we later learned, Ausmus felt he had to save Blaine Hardy in case the game went extra innings.