Despite not having his best start, Justin Verlander helped push the Tigers back onto the winning side of the record with a 6-4 win over the Mariners. He had the one rough inning in the third where he gave up three but other then that, he looked pretty solid. His usual velocity was there even in his final inning (his last pitch was 97 mph) but what’s worrisome if how he’s piling up the pitch count and only pushing into the sixth inning.
Jose Valverde scared us all again by walking the bases loaded but he got Jesus Montero to foul out to end the game. Joaquin Benoit had a solid outing and he just needed twelve pitches to get through the eighth inning and Phil Coke gave up a run but the good thing is, the flood gates didn’t open and the Tigers were able to hold on for the win.
Andy Dirks continues to shine and he drove in three runs. Prince Fielder has also begun to heat up and he belted his fifth home run. Interesting note on Fielder is that all five of his home runs have come with nobody on even though he’s been a better “hitter” with men on base. He’s hitting .286 with nobody on but .364 with men on base so you wonder if he’s looking more for the single and driving in the run then swinging for the fences if there’s ducks on the pond.
The Indians lost so the Tigers are now two games back of first place. Tonight it’ll be Drew Smyly against Jason Vargas in the rubber game. Smyly has a pretty good chance of having another great outing with the poor Mariners offense and he’s throwing in the pitcher friendly Safeco Field. It’s another late game.