Really, nothing else needs to be said. The Rangers won 9-2, Yu Darvish was very good, Robbie Ray was very not, and the game was essentially over after four innings.
But Danny Worth pitched! With another short start and a gassed bullpen (Phil Coke had to eat an inning and a third today despite working multiple innings yesterday) the Tigers needed to get through the 9th, and they turned to Worth, an amateur knuckleballer, to get three outs. And get three outs he did. He even got two strikeouts – one looking – and only allowed one single. The single came off his mid 80s fastball. Don’t get beat with your worst pitch, Danny.
Worth’s outing was pretty much the lone highlight of a fairly awful day at the ballpark for the Tigers. They were always going to be facing a struggle with Darvish starting for Texas, but Ray allowing 7 runs in 3.1 innings really put things beyond Detroit early. (Chris Gimenez’s first career four hit game really summed up how the Tigers pitched today). The huge cushion meant Darvish had to be merely good to win this game, which he was – two runs, six strikeouts over seven innings. The Tigers scored both runs off him in the sixth and threatened to score more, but Darvish stranded two in scoring position to stomp out any hopes of a miracle rally.
Evan Reed pitched after Ray and required 45 pitches to get four outs, allowing two more runs in the process and looking generally useless. Things settled after that. Coke managed an inning and a third of perfect baseball, which was extremely valuable for a shredded bullpen. Drew Smyly, with his next start pushed back, gave the Tigers an inning, as did Al Alburquerque.
After the game, Ray was sent to Toledo and Corey Knebel, great young hope of the Tigers’ bullpen future, was promoted to the big club.
The Tigers will be looking for innings tomorrow from Anibal Sanchez. He’ll face Scott Baker tomorrow night in the second game of the series.