Like the old days.
Tigers 5, Indians 4
Justin Verlander (16 GS, 104.2 IP, 4.73 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 1.5 fWAR) might not be dead just yet. There’s still a long way to go from here to salvation, but for seven innings on this Saturday night it looked a lot like our old friend out on the mound. He surrendered two runs while walking one and allowing a home run, but he punched out eight with some solid velocity and good secondary stuff. We aren’t going to get the Hall of Famer night in and night out, but he’s going to have more nights like this before he shuts it down. The Tigers bats, for their part, mostly just hit some home runs and called it a day. VMart, Davis, and Kinsler each hit a solo shot and then Blaine Hardy had a huge eighth inning to escape a jam of Al-Al’s making. For the third straight day, then, it was Joe Nathan time, and he got into a little trouble after a pair of strikeouts and the Indians worked quality at bats into a run in the 9th to tie it. It wasn’t tied for long thanks to a Kinsler single, Jackson bunt (groan), and Cabrera double which pushed the ball to Phil Coke who allowed one baserunner in the 10th before shutting it down. Everything went exactly according to plan and the keys will end up in Max Scherzer’s (15 GS, 98.1 IP, 3.84 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 2.1 fWAR) hand on Sunday looking for…the…sweep.
The Moment: Davis and Kinsler go back to back in the 7th.
Are we disappointed with Joe Nathan’s performance for allowing three runs on three singles after getting two strikeouts and two strike counts on every batter in the inning, against the team with the best home record in the AL, specifically because they do this to pitchers in the 9th?
I am not going to jump back on the anti-Joe Nathan band wagon just yet. I think he was sharp again today. Could have been sharper, but he did fine, and he did get that third out.
I’m a Tigers fan and I want our guys to do good, and I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Sue me!
Oh yeah…WELCOME BACK JUSTIN!!!
One run on three singles…you know what I meant.