You know how Justin Verlander is invincible? Like, he never gives up more than three runs in a start, he’s always going to get at least a no decision…he’s certainly never going to give up three home runs and he’s going to throw lots of strikes and all that?
Well, he’s not invincible. And sometimes he loses. Like tonight, in which the Rays won 4-2.
Of course, it would be unfair to pin all the blame on Verlander. He didn’t pitch well (by his lofty standards) but David Price pitched well. Really well. He probably would’ve had himself a complete game if he didn’t feel some back tightness warming up before the 8th inning, and the Rays decided to remove him as a precaution.
Price went seven, struck out seven, and the Tigers never had two men on all night. Delmon Young hit a long homer and the Tigers played smallball to score Ramon Santiago after a leadoff double, but that was essentially it. Austin Jackson struck out three times, and Ramon Santiago, Jhonny Peralta, and Gerald Laird fanned twice as well. There was precious little to report from the offensive standpoint. David Price is good. It happens.
At least Quintin Berry didn’t strike out. He was 0-for-3 but he put the ball in play!
There were offensive highlights for the Rays, though. A good number of them. Desmond Jennings led the way with two home runs. He had three all season coming in. Sometimes, the Tigers’ pitching staff really does resemble a charitable organization. Ben Zobrist homered as well. Oh, and Jennings made an awesome diving catch too, so if you want to blame someone else and keep exalting Verlander, there’s your guy.
As for Verlander, he had a very bizarre line – one walk and eight strikeouts in six innings will do you well more often than not, but not when three of the six hits you allow leave the ballpark – the fourth time in his career he gave up three homers in one game. A number of outs were stung as well – Prince Fielder saved runs with a diving stop in the first inning. Verlander also threw more balls than strikes in the firs. And gritty, scrappy Will Rhymes played a huge part in driving up his pitch count. Too bad the Tigers don’t have any guys like him. Anyway, it looked as if Verlander was struggling with his curveball and location in general.
But hey, his streak of consecutive starts in which he has completed six innings or more lives on. So too does the Tigers’ streak of not being shut out. You can sleep with a smile on your face tonight knowing that those historic milestones live on.
- As I write this, the Yankees are being completely useless and losing to the White Sox again. I contend that the Bronx Bombers exist only to cause me suffering. And they never seem to win during the handful of times a year I actually want them too. And they’re overpaid and haughty and A-Rod is a….sorry. Veering off-topic a bit here.
- The Indians are losing to Baltimore 8-7 as I write this, too. But it’s Baltimore, so they could very well blow it. Either way, as long as the White Sox win, the Tigers will drop to five back again.
- I went on an angry, red-faced rant about Delmon Young following the conclusion of the Rangers series and he now has four hits in two games, including a homer tonight. Methinks I’m going to need to scream about Brennan Boesch next.
- God, I hate the Yankees.
- Price’s exit after 7 undoubtedly spurred some false hope amongst Tigers fans, but the Rays bullpen certainly ensured that it was all false. Jake McGee and Tiger legend Fernando Rodney did not allow a hit in their two innings of work, striking out three total.
- Octavio Dotel deserves a shoutout for two solid innings of relief with three strikeouts.
- Seriously, I really hate the Yankees.
- Lastly, the Royals are beating Minnesota right now. If that holds, the Royals will remain in fourth (they have played fewer games than Detroit) but they will actually have one less loss than the Tigers. How does that make you feel?