First of all, I’d like to thank the Tigers for timing their rally so that it happened during my lunch break, so I at least got to listen to it on the radio. I sort of watched the archived game last night, so I have a general idea of what went down. Justin Verlander was “his bad self,” to paraphrase Rod Allen. He had eleven strikeouts and it looked as though all his pitches were working. The fastball was blazing, the curveball was diving, and the changeup was baffling. His only mistakes were an RBI triple to Jake Fox (who I didn’t think could run that fast) and a wild pitch.
For most of the game it looked like Verlander would suffer the same fate as Armando Galarraga and Max Scherzer: Lack of run support. The Tigers only managed one hit off Chris Tillman, although they did draw six walks (three to Brennan Boesch and surprisingly none to Miguel Cabrera). I have no idea what made him so effective, since I only kind of half-paid attention to the archive and they didn’t really talk about him after the game (I did watch the replay of the postgame show this morning). However, once Tillman was out and the bullpen came in, the bats woke up (sounds like the beginning of the season). Will Rhymes and Ryan Raburn led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and a double, respectively. The key at-bat was the walk to Austin Jackson (and the 3-2 pitch looked close enough to me that it might have tempted him). That loaded the bases with nobody out for Miguel Cabrera in a one-run game, meaning they had to pitch to him. And Cabrera came through by hitting a bases-clearing double into the gap (the funny thing was that I somehow knew he was going to swing at the first pitch). Brandon Inge later hit a two-run homer to tack on some insurance.
This is a really weird week in which the Tigers have two off-days, today being the first. Tomorrow night marks the start of a brief two-game series in