|Final - 6.6.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Max Scherzer (7 - 2)
LP: Colby Lewis (5 - 6)
1.5 games back.
BONUS KEY STAT
Four homers tonight gives the Tigers ten in their last five games. The Tigers' missing power has come out of a season long coma as the weather heats up. And not a moment too soon.
Brennan Boesch's three run home run in the 1st inning. Playing the heavy hitting Rangers, you knew going in the Tigers would need to score, and score plenty. The Boesch bash set the offensive tone for the evening, and the stage for the 2nd year outfielder's career best night, while giving Max Scherzer an early, and what turned out to be much needed, cushion.
Max Scherzer, we have a problem. Despite getting his team leading 7th win of the season, he didn't pitch well at all. For the third consecutive game, the Tigers' number two starter struggled mightily. Given nine runs by the Tigers offense in the first four innings, Scherzer kept the Rangers in the game with a 5 R, 8 H, 5 IP performance. Even worse, Scherzer's ERA is up to 4.68 and WHIP is an ugly 1.49. He's better than this. The Tigers NEED him to be better than this.
In relief, it was young Charlie Furbush to the rescue. Once again, Furbush was strong in middle relief, throwing three innings of two hit ball. Unfortunately, he made one mistake, which turned into an 8th inning two run home run for Nelson Cruz.
Think the Tigers' young corner outfielders don't know Magglio Ordonez is coming back very, very soon? Boesch and Andy Dirks are obviously hearing footsteps. Going by their play tonight, they want to ensure a spot in the lineup. Boesch was unconscious (5-6, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 12 total bases). Dirks was just 1-5...but the 1 was a two run home run hit when the game was still in doubt.
The Tigers' combined production from 3rd basemen Don Kelly and Danny Worth: 3-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB. I hate to point it out (yet I will), but that's damn near a month's worth of production from Brandon Inge. This sort of production is not going to be expected, but it was one Hell of night for the 3rd sackers. As I said when Inge's move to the DL was announced, a Kelly - Worth tandem upgrades the position.
Ryan Raburn hits 2nd basemen harder than baseballs. Just ask Ian Kinsler.
More good news on the Raburn front! after a 1-5 night, he's over the Mendoza Line, at .201!
A piece of advice for Daniel Schlereth. When you're pitching in a mop up role with a six run lead in the 9th inning, throw strikes. When a visibly frustrated Jim Leyland has to pull you out of the game because you can't, having to use a pitcher who should have had the evening off (Joaquin Benoit got the final out), you should begin worrying about the security of your roster spot.
A nice win for the Tigers...but despite scoring 13 runs, it was far from a relaxing one thanks to the Rangers remaining within haling distance all game long.
But a win is a win, ugly though it may have been. The Tigers are one game closer to baseball nirvana, first place. The Tribe are rapidly coming back to the pack, and ripe to be overtaken. It could happen this week...