A nice duel we didn’t win.
Royals 2, Tigers 1
In the early game, the Tigers came up short but their is no blame to be laid at the feet of Justin Verlander (26 GS, 166.2 IP, 3.51 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 3.7 WAR) who continued to show his midseason struggles are behind him as he went 8 innings and allowed just 2 runs to go along with 6 strikeouts. The fastball velocity was solid (averaging 94.8 MPH, up to 98.2), the breaking balls were good, and the changeup worked. The release point was also where it should be, as it has been for several starts (check out previous work on the matter):
The only blemishes were a solo homerun by Hosmer and a couple of hits in the 7th inning. The bats couldn’t do much against Danny Duff and the Royals as they got on base via the walk nicely, but hit into a ton of outs when they put the ball in play even when the contact was good. Santiago jumped Aaron Crow for a pinch hit homerun in the 8th, but the Tigers couldn’t complete the rally. Additionally, Jose Iglesias made two fine defensive plays – one chasing down a pop fly and one getting to a ground ball up the middle – in addition to taking one for the team in the worst possible spot to reach via the HBP. The Tigers won’t have long to think about this one as they’ll grab some dinner and come back out for the nightcap with Jose Alvarez (4 GS, 19.2 IP, 5.03 ERA, 5.99 FIP, -0.2 WAR) toeing the rubber.
The Moment: Iglesias makes two excellent plays in the span of three batters.