24-19, 1.5 in back of Cleveland, JV on the rebound vs. Jimenez the Menace coming up.
Well, what do you know – Tui got a start against a righty. Nothing to show, took the ball for a ride the first time and struck out twice after that, but I’m still all for it.
Is there a chance that this might not be the last year for Jhonny Peralta at SS? With Detroit, I mean.
Say what you will about Don Kelly, but when was the last time you saw him have a truly lousy at-bat? It certainly doesn’t happen often. You can say much the same for Andy Dirks and Matt Tuiasosopo.
Let’s keep up the pressure on the “let someone split time with V-Mart at DH” front. I think it’s helping.
Is it mere coincidence that Marcus Thames and Matt Tuiasosopo have… oh, never mind. It’s an empty thought, you might say. Free Matt Tuiasosopo!
Last May 22, the Tigers were 20-21 and about to meet the Indians for the first time, in Cleveland. They would be swept in three, an insult that kicked off what were probably the darkest days of 2012, days which saw them tumble to their nadir of 25-31. Things have gotten better since.
Y’all come back now for the post-game, y’hear? We’ll crack open a Vernor’s and listen to some Bob Seger. Justin Verlander’s dominant performance will call for some kind of celebration…
POST-GAME: Tigers 11, Indians 7. A wild one. Not back and forth as the score might seem to indicate. The Tigers never trailed, and yet it seems like they came from behind, doesn’t it? Given a quick 2-0 lead, Verlander was in trouble after striking out the first two, and the 37-pitch 2nd inning was downright painful to watch. He looked absolutely lost. How only one run scored, we may never know. Jiminez had troubles of his own, no command, and the Tigers sent 9 men to the plate in the break-it-open 3rd. He was lucky to leave after 4 down only 6-2, and then Detroit greeted David Huff rudely in the 5th with a bottom of the order rally that plated three and featured the marvel of a CS (Infante) that scored Kelly from 3B. Verlander had righted himself for the 3rd and 4th, apparently after some off the field consultation with Jeff Jones, and with a 9-2 lead, we were settling in comfortably, weren’t we? But the other Justin showed up for the 5th, and three batters in, Carlos Santana was rounding the bases. 9-5. With only one out, the rain began to pour down. Oh no – not even in the books yet! After an hour delay, Verlander managed to retire the side. Smyly came on in the 6th and threw the same first pitch he always throws. Unfortunately, Yan Gomes was waiting for it, and it ended up in the stands. Not a good inning for Drew, and afterwards it stood at 9-7 Tigers. After Putkonen had pitched a very reassuring 7th, again came the rain and another long delay. When play resumed, it was before a mostly empty ballpark. In the 8th, with Dirks on, Miggy hit one of his deceptive fly balls that just kept going and going. CF Michael Bourn had it at the wall – and then he didn’t, because it had bounced straight out of his glove and over the wall! 11-7. Sweet insurance. The life went out of the Indians and really the game itself at that point. Benoit and Valverde did creditable work to finish the game against the lifeless Indians batters. I think Jose’s little celebration of a strike two (Santana) had to do with getting a swing and miss on something other than a fastball.
Hunter’s “error” on Raburn’s “single” – gloved and dropped flyball it took effort to go back for – is mostly notable we because we expect more from him. It did cost a (tying) run that might have been crucial some other game. Bourn in CF, despite the freak play on the Miggy HR, was busy and stellar defensively throughout the game. Don’t look now, but solid-but-ordinary Peralta made a great play on the Gomes “IF single” that was actually an out. Quite a few notable defensive plays in the game overall, Tigers getting their share or more. Pena was really stepping and throwing lively in the “dead 9th” to run down the 3rd strike that got away and nail Santana at 1B.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Miguel Cabrera
HONORABLE MENTION: Brayan Pena, Victor Martinez, Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, Carlos Santana, Luke Putkonen
NOT SO GOOD: Justin Verlander, Ubaldo Jimenez, David Huff