I ended up staying at work an extra half-hour, so I can’t give as much insight into this game as I’d like to, but I will say that things started going downhill for the Tigers while I was driving home. There were a couple of key mistakes by the outfielders, and neither Rick Porcello nor the bullpen were able to overcome them. Ryan Raburn misjudged a ball that Josh Anderson hit (I did not see this, but I was in the car when it happened), which eventually led to two runs, and then there was the ball that Billy Butler hit that Clete Thomas probably should have caught though it would have been a difficult play (He seemed to be more concerned with bracing himself for a collision with the wall). Still, Ryan Perry hasn’t been very effective recently. The walks are down (though he did walk one last night), but he’s given up a lot of hits. Bonderman came in and didn’t look bad until he walked somebody, and then Nate Robertson came in, which confused everyone online (He’s still in line to start Friday, though). Meanwhile, the Tigers managed to score five runs off Bruce Chen, which is decent-enough work, and good enough to win on most nights (I did not see any of these runs score). But they couldn’t do anything against Kansas City’s bullpen. The past couple weeks are kind of strange that way. Kansas City has one of the worst bullpens in the AL (outside of Soria), but the Tigers couldn’t touch them, and Tampa Bay has a good bullpen (in terms of ERA), and yet the Tigers scored a bajillion runs off them. Where’s Grant Balfour when you need him?
Boy, the loss last night sure makes you glad Zack Greinke is not pitching in this series, doesn’t it? One would hope that Justin Verlander would be able to get the job done tonight. However, the last time the Royals saw him, they tagged him for five runs (though two of those were unearned, so it still went in the books as a quality start). He is 9-1 in his career against the Royals. He’ll be opposed by Robinson Tejeda, whom you would think the Tigers would have a shot at, but keep in mind that he blanked the Angels (a much better offense) for 5 1/3 innings and has a 13-inning scoreless streak going. He’s got a good arm but walks can sometimes get him into trouble. He is starting in place of Gil Meche. Hopefully, I won’t be detained at work tonight and can get home at 9:00 (largely because of the game, but I also have a Pharmacology exam, and Justin Verlander is as big a distraction as they come).