Good pitching beats good hitting. Or maybe the adage should be superior pitching meets incredible hitting.
On a day when JV did not have his best stuff, he demonstrated why he’s the best pitcher in baseball by shutting down baseball’s best offense and ending the Rangers’ 8 game winning streak. Ron Washington said after the game “We didn’t lose, we got beat.”
JV’s run was unearned due to a passed ball where Avila simply missed a high curve. The Rangers took pitches and worked counts, which is what led to Verlander’s departure after only 6 but 115 pitches. Dotel was good, Benoit was okay enough and Valverde was Valverde. But the pen got the job done.
The Tigers face the shrewd Colby Lewis tonight, a guy with average stuff at best, but who has a supreme understanding of the Art of Pitching. He gives up a lot of flyballs (30/11 fo/go), but has solidified himself as the Rangers’ ace. Though the Tigers have hit him hard. Over the past two years Lewis is 2-3 with a 7.52 ERA against Detroit. For the 2012 season he’s 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA and 22 Ks in 19 2/3 against only 1 walk.
Smyly is will be tested a bit more today than he was in his first two starts against TB and KC. Smyly will need to limit base runners, so keeping walks down will be crucial.
I’m looking for AJax to break out of this 10 game funk (6/32) today. Jackson is a career .444 hitter off of Lewis.