Ron Gardenhire wore the worry on his face before the game.
With the Detroit Tigers' pitching schedule on Wednesday afternoon up in the air, the team counted on left-hander Ryan Carpenter to pitch them deep enough in Tuesday night's game to avoid making any further moves.
If he could, a bullpen day would be on the horizon.
If he couldn't ... we may soon find out.
Carpenter lasted just four innings against the best offense in baseball, allowing eight runs – seven earned – on nine hits. The Tigers lost to the Astros, 11-4.
The game was decided quickly: Carlos Correa hit a three-run home run in the top of the first inning, Houston added three more in the top of the second and scored in every inning except the seventh and ninth.
After Carpenter, the Tigers used four relief pitchers: Buck Farmer for two innings and Daniel Stumpf, Blaine Hardy and Victor Alcantara for one each.
The only bright spot offensively for the Tigers was Ronny Rodriguez, who hit his sixth home run of the season, a 434-foot blast to left-center field.
With four starting pitchers on the injured list – two of them ruled out for the season, the other two without a timetable for return – the Tigers are in very big trouble in the pitching department. Tuesday night's loss was just a preview. On Wednesday, the Tigers could be faced with getting nine innings out of a bullpen that is not rested. Their most-rested arm is lefty Nick Ramirez, who will be pitching on three days' rest.
With the way the Astros were pounding the ball off Carpenter, the outcome in this game – and for the Tigers' bullpen going forward – could have been much worse. He got them through four innings, which likely isn't enough for them to make a roster move, but the Astros were all over him, hitting rockets around the field and getting on base.
Rodriguez leads the Tigers with six home runs in 21 games this season. He continues to pound the ball, hitting with authority, and as Gardenhire said before the game in talking about giving Christin Stewart an off-day, "I'm never taking Rodriguez out of the lineup again."