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.