|Final - 8.16.2010||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Yankees||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||6||1|
|WP: Max Scherzer (8 - 9)
SV: Jose Valverde (23)
LP: Javier Vazquez (9 - 9)
Max Scherzer pitched at terrific game, allowing just two hit and two walks in six innings. Ryan Raburn had another home run. The Tigers won their third game in a row for the first time since before the All-Star Break, and they have assured at least a season split with the Yankees. Johnny Damon was received well by fans of his former team. The Tigers won, did I mention that? Good.
Now that we've got the pertinent facts out of the way, let's get to the rest of it.
In turning the game-ending double play, Carlos Guillen took quite a smack. Nothing out of the routine for a second baseman. Manager Jim Leyland said after the game Guillen seems to be fine. But he is Guillen so pessimism is the better part of valor when we see him bending over in pain.
And of course, we have the matter of the closer to worry about, now don't we? Coming off an abdominal strain, Jose Valverde was asked to get a four-out save. He did it. Took nearly 40 pitches -- just 16 of them strikes -- a bases loaded walk , a double play grounded into by Derek Jeter and a visit from trainer Kevin Rand, but he did it. Of course he'll probably be unavailable for the next few games because of it.
If there's one thing I can take away from the game, it's this: Valverde is really, really popular amongst Tigers fans. At least, the BYB and Twitter crowd. In the past fans would be up at arms against the pitcher as he walks batter after batter and throws wild pitches in a narrow ninth game. Valverde does it and the blame is squarely on Leyland.
Should it be? In some ways, yes. The guy has been sore lately and he's asked to get a four-out save. The last time he tried, it didn't go too well. Pretty safe to say it didn't go too well tonight either. In other ways, some blame has to be placed on the pitcher. The manager sends them out there, but he doesn't have a controller in his hands. A single and three walks in the ninth? Ugh. Of course, we get back to the manager again. Valverde doesn't have it, why isn't someone up in the bullpen faster?
So for my take, I'm splitting the blame. Let's just hope the bullpen can absorb the hit it's probably going to take the next few days.