Justin Verlander had one bad inning in his start earlier this afternoon when he gave up a pair of home runs in a three run fourth. The Tigers took a 3-1 deficit into the eighth and it looked like it was going to be another lackluster performance by the offense before Placido Polanco went deep with a big three run home run. Give some credit to Clete Thomas as well. He doubled to lead off the seventh and he pushed Jeff Niemann out of the game. Grant Balfour couldn’t hold the lead and the rest is history.
Speaking of Clete, he finished with three hits and he scored on Curtis Granderson’s single in the third inning. Granderson singled, drew a walk and he also scored on Polanco’s long ball.
Justin Verlander picked up his fifteenth win. He gave up the three runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts in eight innings. With five full weeks, Verlander should get six more starts unless the Tigers pitch him on four days rest (and opting to go without a fifth starter at times) in which he might get a seventh start. A lot will depend on whether the Tigers can clinch early or if they stumble and it goes down to the wire. Anyway, my point was going to be Verlander’s chances at 20 wins and it doesn’t look too great unless he’s lights out the rest of the way.
The final is tomorrow afternoon in a somewhat rare Monday afternoon game. It’ll be James Shields going up against Jarrod Washburn.