All over the place.
Tigers 11, Indians 7
The Tigers jumped out to a first inning 2-0 lead and then Justin Verlander (4/5-4, 59 IP, 3.66 ERA, 2.47 FIP, 2.1 WAR) gave a run back in each of the first two innings with some help from terrible “non-error” defense from Torii Hunter. But then the Tigers offense came alive with 4 in the 3rd and Verlander looked like he figured something out and shut the Indians down in the 3rd and 4th. In the 5th, the Tigers added 3 more runs and Verlander came out for the bottom half and gave up three more runs. And then the rain came and the game was halted before the inning could be completed. After a 62 minute delay, Verlander came back out to finish the 5th and qualify for a win. Then relief ace Smyly gave up 2 in the 6th to make it 9-7. After a scoreless 7th, the rain came again and we waited another 50 minutes for the 8th inning in which Miguel Cabrera hit a ball to the warning track that Michael Bourn knocked over the fence for a two run homer. The game was exactly as head-shakingly chaotic as the first several sentences of this post and I wrote it that way so you could feel the game in my words. It was one of those baseball games that just wore you down even though your team led the entire way. The win improves the Tigers to 25-19 and gives them a short, two game sweep of the Indians and sends them home to face the Twins behind Rick Porcello (2-2, 38 IP, 5.92 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 0.4 WAR) whom I argue is on his way to a breakout year. It’s unclear for certain what caused Verlander’s odd start, but there are some rumblings of sign stealing, which I can’t really dispute give that nothing else seems to be wrong with him. We’ll have to wait and see where things go from here, but the Tigers got the win and that’s good enough for me on this night. Also, if you missed it, here’s my piece from earlier on Max Scherzer’s dominate performance from Tuesday.
The Moment: Don Kelly scores on a double steal in the 5th.