Bullet points recap because I can:
- The Tigers won. They scored eight runs in the process in a game started by Jon Lester. They scored in all but two innings and went down in order just once.
- Nick Castellanos had three hits again, including a homer. It’s his third consecutive three-hit game. His average is all the way up to .271.
- Eugenio Suarez got his first start and his first MLB hit. It was a home run. It came in an inning during which FOX was interviewing A.J. Pierzynski from the dugout. It was most excellent.
- Austin Jackson also had three hits. Perhaps he’s finally coming out of his extended slump.
- Miguel Cabrera had three hits too, but we expect this from him.
- Every Tiger had at least one hit. They had 16 in total. Lester didn’t even get out of the fifth.
- Max Scherzer qualifies here despite the fact that he gave up 11 hits and 4 runs in 6.2 innings. There were some infield hits and bloopers in there. He was not hit terribly hard. More telling was the fact that he walked just one and struck out nine.
- Al Alburquerque. Came into a big spot in a 7-4 game with two on to retire Grady Sizemore to end a Boston threat in the seventh.
- Joba Chamberlain. Continues to consistently put up zeroes. Hit Stephen Drew on the foot with a pitch (a pitch that Drew did absolutely nothing to get out of the way of, by the way) but got the next three in order, including a strikeout.
- The win in general. It’s a series win, and they haven’t done that since they swept these same Red Sox at Fenway Park in May.
- Joe Nathan. This is really the only blemish on tonight overall, but it’s a huge one. The Tigers won’t want to admit it, but their “proven closer” has a huge problem right now. He again couldn’t locate anything, his sliders were hanging, he came into an 8-4 ballgame and put the tying run on base. In the interest of fairness, one of his hits allowed was of the infield variety, but there were no other cheapies. He gave up four hits, his ERA is now above 7, and his WHIP now sits at 1.56. The Tigers are lucky tonight’s game wasn’t closer or they might be ruing another one that got away. I can’t tell you what’s at the root of Nathan’s problems, but the Tigers cannot legitimately trust him to close out close ballgames right now. Unfortunately, because he’s a #ProvenCloser making $10 million this year, he’s probably not getting removed from his role anytime soon, despite the fact that the eighth inning guy has been dominant for the better part of the season. Hey. Proven Closer though.
But hey, a win’s a win (and Nathan’s extended inning probably means he won’t be available tomorrow!). The Tigers can sweep tomorrow on Sunday Night Baseball and in Anibal Sanchez they’ll be sending the right man to the mound to get it done. He’ll oppose John Lackey in the series finale at 8 PM on ESPN.