[averts eyes, peaks through fingers].
Royals 11, Tigers 8
I’m going to be honest with you all, this didn’t go well. Justin Verlander (15 GS, 97.2 IP, 4.98 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 1.4 fWAR) looked fine for the first few innings and then the 5th and 6th innings came along and ruined all of that. When all was said and done, Verlander had gone six innings after allowing seven runs with two walks and two strikeouts against a mediocre offense at best. Verlander showed some signs of life in his last few starts, but it’s hard to find positives in this one. The bats got a couple of early runs, but Verlander’s seven and the bullpen’s four runs were way too many to overcome. Blaine Hardy got a chance to make his MLB debut and struck out the first two batters he faced, which was a nice moment in the midst of a disaster. Then, of course, the Tigers scored 6 runs in the 9th inning to make it look a lot more interesting than it was and put the fear or God into the Royals. Max Scherzer (14 GS, 94.1 IP, 3.05 ERA, 3.03 FIP, 2.2 fWAR) goes Tuesday.
The Moment: Blaine Hardy punches out the first two batters of his MLB career.
Dan and Jim always talk about the importance of holding the other team down and keeping them off balance, even in a blow out. Those big late innings can give the other team a confidence boost, and we’ve seen teams come out the next day feeling strong after they pulled closer in a blowout. Maybe that will work for the Tigers tomorrow.
Justin was horrid. He’s got to get this resolved. That contract is looking really, really bad right now and he needs to right the ship. At a minimum, he needs to be throwing up quality starts.
But, I am going to point my finger back to the bullpen. Evan Reed came in and failed to do the job. He gave up four without getting an out, and those four runs proved to be the difference in the game.
On the upside, the Tigers may have actually found a reliever who can strand base runners and keep the game where it’s at. This is big news!
In case you’re reading this, and your salary and the fans aren’t enough motivation, you’re absolutely killing my fantasy team right now. It’s a draft-and-hold league, by the way.