The Tigers, feeling the need to add another piece to the pile of evidence that pitcher win-loss record is the most irrelevant stat there could possibly be, fell 1-0 to the Rays on Thursday afternoon despite David Price giving up one hit over eight innings and retiring the last 23 batters he faced.
Price was masterful, there are no two ways about it, and he continues to show why the Tigers gave up two Major Leaguers for him – because he’s just that good. The only hit he gave up was a triple in the first inning. Unfortunately, the triple came one batter after Eugenio Suarez made a throwing error on what should have been a routine inning-ending groundout, and so that triple scored the only run of the game. It was unearned. He walked none and struck out nine in an eight inning, 100 pitch complete game, two Rays reached against him all day, and none reached base after that first inning triple.
Unfortunately for Price, the Tigers offense didn’t care about all that. Now, to be clear, Alex Cobb is a very good pitcher in his own right, and he showed why today. The Tigers had two real good chances to score in the 3rd and in the 7th. In the third, a walk and a single put two on with none out for Rajai Davis. Davis showed bunt, didn’t get it down, and then promptly hit into a double play that effectively kneecapped Detroit in the inning. In the seventh, Torii Hunter doubled, Miguel Cabrera moved him to third with a groundout, and the Rays elected to intentionally walk Victor Martinez with J.D. Martinez on deck. J.D. had struck out twice against Cobb on offspeed pitches inside, and Cobb used the same against him this time. A wild pitch moved Victor to second, but on a 3-2 pitch with everyone in the world aware of what was coming, J.D. swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt. Nick Castellanos flied out to end the threat, and that was that. A Eugenio Suarez double in the 8th was also stranded without fanfare.
The loss puts Detroit 1.5 games behind the idle Royals. The Tigers are off to Minnesota for four games in three days. Robbie Ray will start tomorrow.