JD Martinez continues to be a revelation, however, as he hit another homer—his twelfth of the season—to bring the Tigers a bit closer in the ninth. The Tigers then worked two walks—two—off Price before Joe Maddon lifted him for reliever Jake McGee. Castellanos struck out swinging to end a soggy night at Comerica Park.
While Price wasn’t quite his dominant self, he did get a shot at a complete game because he’d thrown so few pitches. The Tigers’ game plan was clearly to come out swinging, as Price has been very stingy as far as free baserunners goes (1.17 BB/9 coming into tonight’s game, and 9.00 K/BB). Fans like to preach patience and taking walks, but swinging early and often was actually a good plan against Price (opponents hit .429 and OPS 1.154 on the first pitch), it just didn’t work out how the Tigers would’ve liked.
All in all, it was a mostly forgettable game, particularly if you’re Rick Porcello. The bottom line remains, however: the Tigers must improve at home. While the 25-15 record on the road is certainly good, 23-21 at home isn’t going to cut it. They need to start taking advantage of their, well, home field advantage and beat the teams they should be beating in the friendly confines of Comerica Park.
Hopefully, the upcoming offdays will help the team recharge their batteries as they head toward the stretch run (and, ideally, beyond).
The Tigers have Monday off, and then Justin Verlander (7-7, 4.71 ERA) kicks off a short, two-game series against Ryu Hyun-jin (9-4, 3.08 ERA) and the L.A. Dodgers on Tuesday.