Brisk, but without success.
Royals 1, Tigers 0 (Magic # = 10)
To no one’s surprise, Doug Fister (30 GS, 193.2 IP, 3.67 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 4.2 WAR) and Ervin Santana hooked up for a pitchers’ duel tonight featuring very little offense and a pretty quick pace. Fister allowed a run on two hits in the first but was stingy the rest of the way giving the Tigers 7.2 innings of 1 run baseball featuring 6 K an 3 BB. The Tigers bats couldn’t do much against Santana and his pen despite an Infante double with a man on first in the 9th. The Tigers failed to score, however, as Leyland elected not to run for Fielder – who was on first – and it was the difference in the game as he was thrown out at home by about a step – a step that a pinch runner would have had on Fielder. It’s hard to quantify the effect managers have on games, but this was a clear time in which Leyland is squarely to blame. It makes sense not to lose Fielder in a tie game in the 9th or any time earlier, but if you don’t score the tying run in the 9th, the game ends. You have to pinch run. It’s bad strategy, pure and simple, and it’s a situation an MLB manager should be ready for from the first day of the season. Especially with expanded rosters. The Tigers will look to take the series Sunday afternoon with Max Scherzer (29 GS, 194.1 IP, 3.01 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 5.9 WAR) on the hill.
The Moment: Hunter guns down Getz at third in the 7th inning.