All season long, Tigers fans could point to the not-so-distant past for a little relief: Well, it’s not as bad as 2003.
Well, at home, it was worse.
The Tigers closed the worst home season in franchise history on Thursday afternoon with another sweep, falling to mostly backups of the American League Central Division champion Minnesota Twins, 10-4, to finish 22-59 at Comerica Park, one game worse than the 2003 squad.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said, “We were lousy at home, we did not play well for our fans. It is not like they did not try, but we played badly at home.”
The Tigers already had avoided becoming the first MLB team with 60 home losses and were not as bad at home percentage-wise as the 1939 St. Louis Browns.
Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann allowed four earned runs in 4⅓ innings in his final outing of the season, falling to 1-13 and raising his ERA to 6.91.
With one year left on his five-year, $110-million contract, the 33-year-old Zimmermann said he’s looking forward to a healthy offseason for the first time in years after four seasons of disappointment in Detroit.
With eyes on next week’s playoffs, manager Rocco Baldelli rested regulars such as Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Nelson Cruz, and C.J. Cron.
Despite 13 hits, the Tigers still couldn’t get it done, allowing 13 hits to the depleted Twins. It was the 10th time the Tigers were swept out of 26 series at home. Detroit swept the opponent once.
Willi Castro had a career-high three hits, and Victor Reyes, Brandon Dixon, and Travis Demeritte had two hits apiece, with Reyes driving in two runs in his sixth multi-hit game in the last 12.
Jonathan Schoop and Willians Astudillo hit home runs for the Twins, and Ian Miller had his first MLB hit and RBI in the third inning. Ryan LaMarre, a Jackson Lumen Christi and Michigan product, reached base three times for the Twins.