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Detroit drops Game 1 of the ALCS to the Texas Rangers

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An inefficient Verlander only got to throw four innings against the Rangers; rain delays kept him out of the game.
An inefficient Verlander only got to throw four innings against the Rangers; rain delays kept him out of the game.

KEY STAT

Fourteen strikeouts by Tigers batters. Ouch.

KEY PLAY

Alex Avila swings at the second pitch in the top of the 5th with bases loaded. He grounds out to Ian Kinsler. Oops.

KEY THOUGHTS

Yeesh. This game was a mess all around. Justin Verlander wasn't at his sharpest today. He went four innings and threw 82 pitches, giving up three runs on a David Murphy triple and a Nelson Cruz homer (Murphy later came around to score). And that was all it took for Texas.

The Tigers had problems getting to CJ Wilson. He loaded the bases in the first inning, but got out of a jam by inducing a Magglio Ordonez double play. He struck out Brandon Inge and Austin Jackson to squelch a one out rally in the second. And while he loaded the bases in the fifth, the Tigers just couldn't score. Four and a third scoreless innings by the Ranger bullpen after the 8th inning certainly didn't help things. Alexi Ogando in particular dominated Detroit with three strikeouts in two hitless innings.

The general lack of execution by big bats Victor Martinez (0-3, K BB), Alex Avila (0-4, 2K) and Jhonny Peralta (1-4, 2K) is really hurting the Tigers in this series. But on the plus side, Ryan Perry (1.2 IP, 1 K) and Rick Porcello (2 IP, K) did a fantastic job keeping the game so close. Still, when the best thing you can say is that the middle relief was good, you know it was a bad night.