PREGAME: It’s looking like there might be some weather tonight, and a mid game rain delay would really work against the Tigers with their ace on the bump.
Justin Verlander has stepped up huge like his last 2 times out with a complete game against the White Sox when the team was reeling, and a 13 K’ performance against the Rangers when the team was reeling. The Tigers are more floundering now than reeling, but another ace-esque performance should come in handy. The O’s ran his pitch count to 112 in 6 innings the last time the teams met.
Chris Tillman will make his 2nd career start tonight. He was knocked out with 2 outs in the 5th inning after 93 pitches and 3 runs against the Royals in his debut.
POSTGAME: Ideally you don’t need a walk-off homer when a rookie pitcher is going up against the staff ace, but a walk-off is a walk-off. No complaints here. Thank you very much Clete Thomas.
Justin Verlander got knocked around pretty good in the first inning. I was out with the family and was recording the game. I was on fast forward through the opening and before I could hit stop 1 run was in and 2 were on base. I couldn’t believe how the hits rolled of the bat and the night had disaster all over it, but the Tigers answered right away.
After 2 games with no extra base hits, the Tigers started off triple, double, walk, double. And then Verlander locked in. He came up with 9 K’s and amazingly lasted 8 innings. Verlander is a stud.
- Miguel Cabrera has been maligned for his lack of clutch production, but he got the big 2 run double in the first and the game tying homer later on. In between he hit a ball sharply up the middle that Brian Roberts made a nice play on
- The defense was also impressive with Cabrera making a nice play at first and Marcus Thames making some dramatic catches in left field.
- The offense overall was impressive. They plated 6, but made a number of hard outs as well. They were consistently centering the ball for a change.
- Fernando Rodney was quite good, fanning Luke Scott and getting a couple of quick outs for the win.
- But I have to mention one negative and that was Granderson. He’s looked lost at the plate too often since the Texas series. He did smoke his triple tonight, and hit another ball well. But his last 2 at-bats were awful. He got ahead 2-0 in his next to last PA and tried pulling a fastball off the plate. In the 9th he was ahead 3-1 and swung at ball 4, again off the plate, before taking strike 3 right down the middle. I’m not hating on Grandy, he’s still my Tiger, but there have been too many of those types of “backwards” at-bats lately. He’s taking too many good ones and swinging at too many bad ones and the check swings are on the rise. He may need a day off and I wouldn’t mind seeing him take a breather the next time there is a lefty starter.