Royals 3, Tigers 2: Detroit's offense does Justin Verlander no favors

Too much head's down. Not enough thumbs up.


Final - 5.2.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City Royals 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 8 0
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 5 1
WP: Tim Collins (1 - 0)
SV: Jonathan Broxton (4)
LP: Joaquin Benoit (0 - 1)

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Let us, at least for a moment, think about what an amazing series of events that had to happen for Justin Verlander to win 24 games -- with a shot at 25 -- last season. First, Verlander had to be pretty good at baseball for a long period of time. Second, he had to have a defense behind him that lifted him up in the rare event that Verlander wasn't quite good enough. Third, he had to have a lineup of batters getting some timely hits, rallying from behind if necessary, or preferably just knocking the cover off the ball.

In 2011, Verlander allowed four runs or more in eight starts. He was credited with three wins in those games. His team won a fourth. So in Verlander's worst showings of the year, the Tigers still went 4-4. He allowed two runs or fewer 19 times. He won 17 of those games.

In 2012, he has allowed four runs or more twice. He's 0-2 in those games. He has allowed two runs or fewer four times. He earned wins in two of the games. His team earned a win in a third. Today, neither Verlander nor the Tigers managed to come away with the win, despite another nice showing by the ace. You don't need me to tell you the road to 24 wins is already becoming an uphill climb.

Against the Royals, Verlander scattered six hits and a walk across eight innings. He struck out seven Kansas City batters. His ERA decreased to 2.38. His WHIP remained a steady 0.86. Yet he had to get some timely hitting in the eighth inning, including a line-drive shot off the bat of Brennan Boesch into the right-field seats, just to avoid being tagged with the loss.

The Tigers offense will have to do better than that, or else the ace may pitch just as well as he did in 2011 but not even have 20 wins to show for it.


Snap recap

3 ROARS

Justin Verlander - not his fault a 2-run day wasn't enough to get the win

Brennan Boesch - a 2-run HR was nice

Alex Avila - 2 hits, including an infield single in the 9th

3 HISSES

Tigers offense. Just in general will do. They got no-hit into the 5th.

Tigers offense, middle of the lineup version - Batters 3-6 went 0-for-15.

Joaquin Benoit - Get the loss, get the hiss.

GAME 23 PLAYER OF THE GAME

Austin Jackson won again after a 4-hit day. He tied Miguel Cabrera at 4 POG honors for the season.

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