PREGAME: When the Tigers were being swept by the Yankees, they were at least ultra-competitive games that saw the series come down to a 9-5 score. The Tigers have been outscored 12-5 so far in this Rangers series. I think I preferred the ultra-competitive heart wrenching games than the games without heart.
The Tigers will try to muster some offense against Scott Feldman who sports a 3.59 ERA. Feldman’s peripherals are unimpressive. His walk rate is a touch under 3 per 9, but he only fans a batter every other inning. But he has managed to go at least 6 innings in 14 of his last 15 starts.
Justin Verlander takes the hill for Detroit. Verlander is coming off a huge 127 pitch dominant performance against the White Sox. The Tigers look to him once again to pick up a much needed win.
POSTGAME: Can you believe the Tigers stranded 13 runners tonight?! It’s not nearly as problematic when you plate 13 as well. The Tigers haven’t had a lot of laughers in the last couple months, and the team needed some smiles after looking dead the night before. Early runs, a big cushion, and Verlander pitching nasty meant the drama was pretty limited in this one.
- The Tigers were quite patient early on and made Feldman work, which worked to their advantage. They left the bases loaded in the first, but Feldman threw 38 pitches. Unlike other games though where they’ll let a starter off the hook, they came back in subsequent innings and plated runs.
- Grandy had homers in his first 2 at-bats.
- Cabrera had 4 hits and his 2 outs came on great playes from Byrd and Vizquel. He also got hits with guys on base. With it being a blow out they weren’t really “clutch” but hopefully it relaxes him.
- Ordonez still found himself in a double play situation. This time he roped a liner at the pitcher who caught Guillen off second base.
- Verlander matched a career high with 13 strike outs. He got in a jam in the 5th inning and what ensued wasn’t really the art of pitching. Fifteen of the last sixteen pitches the threw that inning were fastballs.
- Texas pitchers threw 195 pitches
- Jim Leyland had a wonderful opportunity to give Verlander a light outing and Inge a full day off. He did neither bringing Verlander out for the 7th inning despite a 9 run lead, a rested bullpen, and an off day tomorrow. Inge also came in as a defensive replacement. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.