|Final - 5.13.2010||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Yankees||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|WP: Justin Verlander (4 - 2)
LP: CC Sabathia (4 - 2)
Take a moment to admire that.
Add in the 2-0 win Wednesday, too.
It's not often the Bronx Bombers get shut out, and it happened twice to Detroit this series.
There was plenty of reason to be nervous on Monday afternoon before the game. The Tigers needed to get their starting pitching straightened out -- even moreso after they were forced to start reliever Brad Thomas on Monday due to Dontrelle Willis' sinus infection -- and they did.
In the past 36 hours Rick Porcello, Jeremy Bonderman and Justin Verlander each made it through seven innings on the mound with a quality start. Porcello and Verlander teamed up with the bullpen to lock up the shutouts, while Bonderman allowed just two runs.
That's a pretty nice showing, isn't it?
So the result: Detroit took three of four games from the defending champions, and pushed its home record to 12-4 for the season. The Tigers are now five games over .500 during what is probably the toughest portion of their schedule.
Me thinks it's too early to hand Minnesota the division title just yet.
Verlander didn't even have that great a game, all things considered. He struck out four, the same number as he walked. He didn't dominate, but he did control the game and keep the Yankees from getting a runner past second base during his 6 2/3 innings on the mound. And in only the first inning did the runner make it to second before two outs were recorded.
An RBI off the bat of Gerald Laird in the second inning turned out to be the only run the Tigers needed. But Miguel Cabrera and Brennan Boesch went back-to-back with home runs in the fifth inning anyway. Then Laird and Cabrera accounted for three more runs with a pair of doubles in the sixth to chase Yankees starter CC Sabathia.
Joel Zumaya averaged 100 miles per hour on the 22 fastballs he threw, and Eddie Bonine cleaned up the ninth inning to secure the shutout.
FS Detroit reported it was the first time since 1999 the Yankees were shut out twice in the same series. (update:) Tom Gage of the Detroit News says the last time the Yankees were blanked twice in a season by the same team was 2007, and the last time the Tigers did so was 1976.
Before the team left for the west coast back in early April, I wondered what would make for a successful month of baseball. All I asked for was Detroit to remain within biting distance of the Twins, and so far it has done that. The Tigers have even increased their breathing room above .500 by two games. And they're way ahead of the third-place White Sox.
Now the Red Sox come to town, and the Tigers have to hope Max Scherzer reverses the demons of his past three games and Dontrelle Willis is feeling healthy again. And Sunday, the Tigers still have to decide who their starting pitcher is.
Detroit just has to keep it rolling for awhile longer. But you've got to be happy with the way things are going this season.