Not a bad ending.
Tigers 4, Red Sox 3
The buzz around the Tigers today was about the bullpen situation, but despite Leyland giving Coke the ball when it should have gone to Smyly, it wasn’t the Tigers bullpen that would be the story. Jose Alvarez (1-0, 11 IP, 2.45 ERA, 4.69 FIP, 0.1 WAR) did solid work across 5 innings of 2 run baseball against a very strong offense and Putkonen, Coke, and Smyly combined to allow just one additional run. The bats were unable to get more than two runs in the first 8 innings, however, as a Torii Hunter 2 run single was the only scoring the Tigers could muster against Lackey and company until Martinez walked to start the 9th inning against Bailey and then Jhonny Peralta stepped to the plate and lined a slider into the Tigers bullpen to end the game. I know it doesn’t matter, but I said to my wife before the inning started that Martinez was going to walk and Jhonny was going to walk off. It felt good as the Tigers delivered their first walk off win of the season. If you’re going to lose one in this series, it certainly should be the Alvarez game but the Tigers survived it and can now turn to Fister, Scherzer, and Verlander the rest of the way, who are among the best dozen starting pitchers in baseball so far this season. It will be Doug Fister (6-4, 92.2 IP, 3.21 ERA, 2.67 FIP, 2.8 WAR) who will get the ball Friday night at Comerica Park.
The Moment: Jhonny Perlata walks off into the Tigers bullpen.