PREGAME: The Tigers look for their first 2 game winning streak of the season in another afternoon tilt against the Rangers.
Justin Verlander is on the mound for the Tigers as they start their second turn through the rotation. Verlander was the only one in the first turn that struggled as he was charged with 8 runs on Opening Day. Those 8 runs were 1 more than the other 4 starters combined to allow.
The Rangers will counter with Matt Harrison who is making his 2009 debut. Harrison posted a 5.49 ERA in 15 games as a 22 year old last year. He doesn’t strike out many (42 K’s in 83.2 innings). Lefties posted a .971 OPS against him last year.
Game Time 1:05
POSTGAME: How about that pitching? Justin Verlander followed up the performances of his rotation mates with a return to form so to speak. His command was great, but the Rangers couldn’t find his fastball above the belt, nor could they lay off it. The results was 8 K’s in 5 innings of work. The pitch count got a little higher than we’d like, but part of that was due to crappy left side defense in the 5th inning.
Verlander was asked to get 5 outs in that inning, and he didn’t unravel after the errors by Inge and Everett. He got a K of Michael Young after the first. He did allow a walk and then a bloop single to Hamilton that plated two. But he didn’t get rattled.
The bullpen was asked to get 12 outs, and they did it without allowing a baserunner. Nate Robertson pitched two scoreless innings, Bobby Seay got his two guys, and Ryan Perry retired one with a pop out before Fernando Rodney K’d the side in the 9th.