I don’t know that things came any easier today for the Tigers, but the boys did enough to secure a 4-2 win and stave off panic in Detroit. Max Scherzer did his job, the offense did enough, and the bullpen locked it all down.
Scherzer was quite good for the bulk of the day, save for Casey Kotchman being a tough out. Scherzer fanned 4 in 6 innings, and was fairly efficient with 87 pitches and likely could have gone another inning or two. Leyland’s reasons for pulling him were fairly sound though. Kotchman would have been due up in the 7th inning and Scherzer wouldn’t have faced him. In between was Ken Griffey Jr so Leyland went to Phil Coke.
The offense went 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position. As much as I hate the 2 I love the 18. Tigers hitters drew 9 walks to go along with 9 hits. Some wasted scoring situations were particularly frustrating (like Miguel Cabrera fanning on 3 pitches with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out). Others were unfortunate. Ordonez hit a ball typically deep enough for a sacrifice fly, but it was to Ichiro. Guillen and Avila both ripped balls that resulted in double plays. It happens.