That's the only word to describe the Tigers-Royals series throughout the whole season. The Tigers, behind an amazing performance by Justin Verlander, stretched their record to 11-0 versus Kansas City last night with a 6-0 shutout win. It was the Tigers 12th shutout win of the season last night, which is best in the Major Leagues, but it was the continuation of a winning streak versus KC that really opens your eyes.
But it's not like the Tigers have just looked to be in a whole different league. The Royals have had leads. The first two games in this current series saw Kansas City grab 4-0 leads against Tigers starters, only to slowly give the lead right back to the Tigers through big rallies and sloppy fielding. If you're a Royals fan, this is unfortunate of course...but as a Tigers fan all you can do is sit and smile. These games against the Royals are simply summing up the season as a whole, seeing this team fight for nine innings and finding ways to win games.
A lot of talk has been going back and forth regarding Justin Verlander's second half. I've heard a couple ESPN personalities state that Verlander will fade (along with Kenny Rogers) due to youth and the fact that he has never thrown as many innings as it would take to make it a full season. Last night's performance saw Justin go 7.0 innings, giving up only 2 hits and striking out 6. Perhaps this is just a start of a second half similar to Scott Kazmir's 2005 second half, under the supervision of pitching coach Chuck Hernandez:
I think we'll have to wait and see with Verlander. If Scott Kazmir can see that sort of success with people questioning his arm holding up through the second half, I have faith in Justin Verlander. He has been perhaps our best pitcher all season (which makes you surprised he wasn't an All-Star), and I expect to see him put up pretty great numbers throughout the second half during the pennant race.