PREGAME: The Tigers look to keep their offense rolling and they look for Justin Verlander to bounce back as they go for the sweep of the Brewers.
Verlander broke his streak of sheer dominance with a rough 5 run, 4 inning outing against the Cardinals. For the first time since April the whole game seemed to be a struggle for him. Verlander has only faced the Brewers once in his career, and I think we all remember how that turned out.
Yovanni Gallardo takes the mound for the Brewers. Like Verlander, he strikes out a batter an inning. Like the Verlander we sometimes see, he also has a tendency to throw 100 pitches in 5 innings. Walks have been a recent issue for him with 14 walks in his last 3 games. The Tigers have yet to walk in this series, so that should be an interesting facet to watch today.
Jim Leyland is sticking to the same lineup, almost. Polanco gets the day off after being plunked in the thigh yesterday, but otherwise it is the same:
POSTGAME: I forgot in my hasty pregame to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day. My haste was fueled because I was heading to the game with my family. I could swear that on Father’s Day Dads used to be able to run the bases. It seems like they don’t do that anymore. Oh well, at least it was an awesome game.
The Verlander/Gallardo match-up was everything you could hope for. Gallardo was very much on top of his game, and while he had 3 walks he was all up in the strike zone and was very efficient and the Tigers weren’t centering the ball. Through 4 2/3 innings the Tigers had managed 2 balls out of the infield, but then they broke through.
The Tigers had back to back singles in the 5th. And then in the 6th the Tigers made the adjustments to start hammering the ball. A sharp single by Cabrera was followed by a towering, majestic blast from Marcus Thames that found the wind blowing the ball to the deepest part of the park and resulted in an out. But then another sharp single set up Brandon Inge for a no doubter home run. That was the Tigers offense.
Verlander’s rough outing against the Cardinals was mostly a hiccup. He didn’t have a 1-2-3 innig until the 5th, and threw 74 pitches through 4 innings, but he also wasn’t being hit hard except for a McGehee homer. He was also inducing more grounders than normal and there were no outfield outs in the first 4 innings.
Fortunately he rebounded and made it through 7 2/3 innings thanks to an 11 pitch 5th and a 6 pitch 6th inning.
Bobby Seay K’d Prince Fielder on 3 pitches and Fernando Rodney had a drama free 9th inning to complete the sweep, extend a 4 game winning streak, and extend the division lead to 4 games.