The Detroit Tigers needed a great start from Justin Verlander tonight. Maybe that was more than they had any right to expect, given the lost cause that this season has now become.
But when it fell to the staff ace to stanch the bleeding, to put a stop to this demoralizing losing streak, what does Verlander do? He tees up a three-run homer to Jim Thome in the first inning. Not what the Tigers needed.
That's really not a fair assessment of Verlander's overall effort tonight, however. Even though a lights-out pitching effort would've been great, the Tigers needed him to just hang in there and keep their damn relievers off the field. Verlander tired out at the end, and two more runs were charged to him when Aquilino Lopez couldn't get an out. (Stop pretending to act surprised.) But he toughed out almost eight innings, giving his team what it needed. And for that kind of effort - even if it wasn't a winning one - he probably deserves a salute.
Yes, that's what it's come to. Applause just for playing. Get your complimentary pat on the back on your way out.
Save a different kind of salute for the lineup, which only managed five hits tonight.
I think a subdued GameThread was to be expected after last night, and the feeling of resignation that loss created. I don't know how many actually watched every pitch tonight, but it's like they say - misery loves company.
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