|Final - 9.7.2013||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Kansas City Royals||0||0||1||0||1||2||0||0||X||4||8||0|
|WP: Wade Davis (7 - 10)
SV: Greg Holland (39)
LP: Justin Verlander (12 - 11)
Kansas City Royals' pitching was raked over for 26 hits in Friday's blowout loss to the Detroit Tigers. The Royals extinguished the Tigers' offensive firepower tonight, holding them to five hits in a 4-3 victory. The eighth one run loss to the Royals this season drops the Tigers' lead in the Central in to 5 1/2 games over the Indians.
Royals' starting pitcher Danny Duffy was effective but wild, pulled after 87 pitches in 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on just two hits. It would be Wade Davis (7-10) picking up the win thanks to 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Greg Holland pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his 39th save.
For the most part, Tigers' starter Justin Verlander (12-11) pitched well. But he made one mistake, allowing a two out, two run home run to Salvador Perez, accounting for the winning margin. Verlander would pitch seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, striking out seven.
Obviously, the big hit of the game was Perez's home run, his 11th of the season. The Royals used small ball for their other two runs. Emilio Bonifacio laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to drive in their first run, the second run due to a Jarrod Dyson walk, stolen base and Alcides Escobar's single.
For the Tigers, Prince Fielder drove in the first run of the game with a single, Miguel Cabrera adding a pair of RBIs on a single and bases loaded walk. Cabrera now has an MLB leading 133 RBIs on the season.
It was a game of wasted opportunities for the Tigers. The biggest squander being a one out, bases loaded threat in the fifth with the meat of the order coming to the plate. The Tigers could only muster one run on Cabrera's walk. Most costly was Torii Hunter's brutal night, stranding a runner in scoring position with less than two out three different times by striking out. Duffy has the Tigers' number, he's allowed just three hits in
Once again, the Tigers met their match in the Royals, who now hold an 8-7 advantage in their season series. Same could be said about Danny Duffy, who may be wild as all get out, but has held the Tigers to three hits over 10 1/3 innings in two appearances.
Royals' starter Danny Duffy has great stuff, but he also has trouble controlling said stuff. His lack of command took center stage in the first inning. Duffy opened the first by throwing six straight balls, walking Austin Jackson in the process. While striking out Torii Hunter on a full count, Duffy sailed a pitch to the backstop, Jackson taking second.
Duffy again went to a 3-2 count before walking Miguel Cabrera. Duffy then went to a three ball count to the fourth consecutive batter, and a third straight full count on Prince Fielder. Fielder would make it 1-0 Tigers with the first hit of the game, lining an RBI single to right to plate Jackson.
Duffy actually go ahead in the count 0-2 on Victor Martinez, but made him work in a seven pitch at bat before flying out Infante swung at the first pitch, ending the inning with a fly out to left. Duffy needed 31 pitches to get through the first, the Tigers taking a quick 1-0 lead.
The Royals have been watching Duffy and his surgery correctly left arm carefully, pulling him in the fourth inning with pitch counts north of 90 in two of his four starts this season.
Danny Duffy pitch count pace: 93 through three innings— General McArfur (@spacemnkymafia) September 7, 2013
Only one run. However, Duffy averages 19.5 pitches per inning this year. #Tigers just made him throw more than 30 in the 1st. Moral victory.— HookSlide (@CabrerasCorner) September 7, 2013
One down in the bottom half of the first, Emilio Bonifacio singled off Justin Verlander's glove. Everyone on the planet knew exactly what would happen next - Bonifacio would be running at the first opportunity. The count 2-0 on Eric Hosmer, Bonifacio took off. It was the 25th str ... wait, what?
My timeline is in disbelief pic.twitter.com/IifmXtiUrP— PCB (@PhilCokesBrain) September 7, 2013
Brayan Pena threw a strike to second, Ramon Santiago slapping on the tag for the second out. The Tigers ended their stolen bases allowed streak at 24, and snapped Bonifacio's streak of stolen bases at 13.
Verlander ended a scoreless inning a winner in the pitch count battle as well, 14 to 31.
The score still 1-0 Tigers, there was another shocker in the bottom of the second. As part of a 1-2-3 inning, Verlander retired his nemesis, the Khan Noonien Singh to his James T. Kirk, Tiger Killer Billy Butler, on a ground ball to third.
Duffy had settled in by the third, tossing his first 1-2-3 inning, his pitch count at a more reasonable 59.
Bottom of three, Verlander's 0-2 fastball was over the fat part of the plate, which allowed David Lough to drive it to left center for a lead off double. The Royals being the Royals, they drop bunts early and often., Jarrod Dyson sacrificing Lough to third.
The infield pulled in, Verlander broke Alcides Escobar's bat, sending a two-hopper to Fielder. Just as he did last night, Fielder went home with the ball. This time it was a far better throw with Pena doing his best impression of a brick wall, Lough never touching the plate.
Two down, Verlander broke another bat, but Alex Gordon was able to drop a looper in short right with Escobar racing to third. This gave the Royals a chance to go back to the small ball well, this time successfully. Bonifacio dropped a squeeze bunt, and once it got part Verlander, a gimpy Cabrera had no play. Escobar scored on the bunt single, tying the game at 1-all.
Verlander would get out of further trouble, striking out Hosmer, stranding a pair to keep the game knotted at 1-1.
Top of four and a pitcher's duel in full force, Duffy was binging on cans of corn, having retired six straight Tigers on fly balls.
It was too much to ask Verlander to retire Country Breakfast in consecutive at bats. Butler led off the bottom half of the fourth with a single to left. Butler was immediately eliminated from the base paths when Fielder backhanded Mike Moustakas' ground ball to start a slick 3-6-1 double play.
The Royals had five hits to the Tigers one, but the Tigers had three walks to zero for the Royals. It all added up to a 1-all tie after four full innings.
Nick Castellanos recorded his first big league hit in the fifth, leading off the inning with an infield single. It was a cue shot off the end of Castellanos' bat, second baseman Bonifacio charged and made a quick throw to first, Hosmer unable to hang on. If Hosmer makes the catch, Castellanos would have been out. Regardless, it was ruled a base hit by the official scorer.
His pitch count north of 80 and likely in his last inning as the Royals' bullpen was stirring, with one down Duffy walked Santiago for the second time. Same for Jackson, his second base on balls loading the bases for Hunter. Stalling for time as Wade Davis was furiously warming up Salvador Perez took a slow stroll to the mound to chat with Duffy about throwing strikes and candlesticks. Time sufficiently delayed, Royals' manager Ned Yost made the call for the right-handed Davis.
Davis got himself a huge out, throwing a 2-2 fastball by Hunter. Not a good at bat for the veteran, who swung at a couple of pitches well out of the zone. Throwing in the mid-high 90s, Davis quickly got ahead of Cabrera 0-2, then Perez saved a run by blocking a pair of pitches in the dirt. Davis gave up the run anyway by throwing balls three and four to Cabrera, Castellanos scoring his first career run.
Davis would get out of the bases loaded jam on a Fielder popup, keeping the damage to just one run.
The Royals would go back to their small ball tricks, tying the game with help from a Verlander walk, Pena's slippery hands and an unimpressive throw by Castellanos. One out, Verlander walked Dyson, which meant havoc would ensue on the bases. Dyson stole second without a throw even though the Tigers correctly called a pitchout, but Pena dropped the ball on the exchange. The .234 hitting Escobar followed with a single to left, Castellanos' off-line throw seemed to die when it hit the turf. Pena was unable to catch the multi-hop throw cleanly, allowing Escobar to advance to second.
Verlander would stop the bleeding, Bonifacio bouncing out to end the inning. But the ever annoying Royals had re-tied the game at 2-all.
The Tigers countered the Royals in the six by quickly going down in order. Andy Dirks ended the inning by pinch hitting for Castellanos. The rookie's night was over after one hit in two at bats, scoring his first career run.
Bottom of six and Verlander's pitch count pushing 90, Hosmer led off with a line drive into the right center field gap. Hunter looked as if he would cut the liner off, getting his glove on the ball, but not handling it cleanly. Hosmer found himself on second with a two base hit. Verlander struck out Butler, Moustakas flying out as Hosmer took third.
Two down and Verlander appearing on the verge of getting out of trouble ... well, he didn't. Perez jumped all over a breaking ball, sending a no-doubt shot over the left field wall. Perez's 11th homer run of the season gave the Royals their first lead of the game at 4-2.
Verlander once had the Royals' number. Not so much any more.
Third straight start vs KC, Verlander gives up tie-breaking homer to player who had never homered off him: Moustakas, Hosmer, now Perez.— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) September 8, 2013
The Tigers down two runs going into the seventh played right into the Royals' strength, their back end of the bullpen. With lefty Will Smith now on the mound for the Royals, singles by Pena and Jackson gave the Tigers' a one out scoring threat. Yost went back to the pen for Luke Hochevar. Hunter made it easy on him.
In an awful at bat, for the third time on the night Hunter struck out on pitches out of the zone with a runner in scoring position. As usual, it was Cabrera to the rescue, lining a single to center, Pena scoring at almost the same exact moment as Michigan did against Notre Dame, making it a one run game at 4-3. Fielder ended the inning with another fly ball off a Tigers' bat, Hochevar stranding the tying run at second.
Verlander remained on the mound for the Tigers, needing just 12 pitches to retire the side in order in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hochevar had an easy top half of the eighth as well, the Tigers going down 1-2-3.
Phil Coke entered the game for Verlander in the bottom of the ninth. As usual, he failed to reitre a left-handed bat, which is supposed to be his job. After getting the light-hitting, right-handed Bonifacio to pop up for the first out, Coke unfathomably walked the left-handed Hosmer on four pitches. Leyland quickly went to fetch his wayward LOOGY, calling on Jose Veras to make his first appearance since earning a save on Monday.
Veras easily handed the Tiger Killer, striking out Butler on three pitches. He then ended the inning by whiffing Moustakas.
It was up to the bottom of the order to generate a scoring opportunity against Royals' closer Greg Holland. Pena hit the ball on a line, but directly to Dyson in center field. Alex Avila pinch hit for Santiago, worked a full count, then swung through a shoulder high fastball for strike three. Jackson struck out on three pitches to end the game.
Game over, the Royals win their eighth one run game against the Tigers this season.
Your final score is Royals 4, Tigers 3.
Just a meh performance by the Tigers' offense, who just can't seem to do anything with many left-handers, especially Danny Duffy. Good thing Bruce Chen is on the mound for the Royals tomorrow, as the Tigers rocked him in his last appearance.
The 82-60 (.577) Tigers hold a 5 1/2 game lead in Central, their lowest since August 28. The Indians aren't doing anything out of the ordinary, they have the same record as the Tigers over the last ten games at 5-5. As for best overall record, their chances have become that much slimmer, the Red Sox pulling away by winning their fifth straight game. The Tigers are now tied with of all teams, the Athletics, for the second best record in the AL. .
Sunday's series finale has the Tall Man taking on Cy Chen - Doug Fister versus Bruce Chen. Since re-entering the Royals' rotation in July, Chen has made ten starts, with a 3-2 records and 2.81 ERA. Since the Tigers gave Chen his first loss of the season Chen on August 18, knocking him around for six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, he's 1-2 with a 6.97 ERA. In his last four starts, teams are hitting Chen to the tune of .305/.352/.512. Fister bounced back from a three start rough patch (5.60 ERA over 17 1/3 innings) to hold the Red Sox scoreless over seven innings on just four hits to earn a Labor Day victory. The Tigers' last game of the season at Kauffman Stadium has a first pitch scheduled for 2:10 PM.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:
The numbers piled up in Friday's blowout win over the Royals.
- Omar Infante became the 44th player in MLB history to have at least five hits, not make an out and drive in six runs or more in a game. Tigers' Hall of Fame second baseman Charlie Gehringer also accomplished the feat in 1937.
- Infante and Andy Dirks became the first pair of Tigers to get at least five hits in the same game since 1917.
- The Tigers are the first team since the 1922 St. Louis Browns to win a game by at least 14 runs after they lost by at least 14 runs.
- It was also the first time since 1928 that the Tigers scored at least 16 runs in a game without a home run or triple.
Unfortunately, offensive fireworks were few and far between for the Tigers tonight.
Mario Impemba making a lazy fly ball sound like a possible home run when it leaves the bat has happened more than once this season.
Mario is apparently a Fan from Comerica Park now. "Driven deep into RF!" *RF running in to easily catch ball*— MattinToledo (@MattinToledo) September 8, 2013
The Tigers have stopped hitting home runs. This is where Miguel Cabrera missing games due to his various injuries and Prince Fielder's long power droughts comes into play.
Miguel Cabrera: Still not 100%, but Cabrera reached base three times, driving in two runs.
Nick Castellanos: Had his first career base hit and run scored. Hopefully the first of many, many more.
Jose Veras: Cleaned up after Phil Coke, striking out both batters he faced, including a Tiger Killer on three pitches.
Justin Verlander: Excellent for the majority of his outing. Verlander pitched more than well enough to win most games. Just not tonight.
Ending the stolen base streak: Too bad the Royals started another streak, leading to a run. But hey, baby steps.
Torii Hunter: An awful game at the plate for the veteran, striking out with a runner in scoring postion in three separate plate appearances. If he puts the bat on the ball with the bases loaded in the fifth, the Tigers might have broken the game open. Hell, I could give Hunter a hiss for every at bat, they were that bad.
Justin Verlander: Was good for long stretches, but walking Dyson in the fifth led to a run, and allowed the game winning home run to Perez.
The Tigers' offense: It's been as inconsistent as Al Alburquerque as of late. And where is the power?
Phil Coke: LOOGY's have one job. That job is not walking left-handed batters on four pitches.
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