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Verlander leads Tigers to first place at the All-Star Break

Casper Wells steals his first base in the MLB. I provide this photo for Alli because we've had enough JV pitching photos.
Casper Wells steals his first base in the MLB. I provide this photo for Alli because we've had enough JV pitching photos.

Final - 7.10.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 5 1
Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 7 0
WP: Justin Verlander (12 - 4)
SV: Jose Valverde (24)
LP: Jeff Francis (3 - 10)

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8 shutout innings. OK, it was actually 7 2/3 innings and one run allowed. But Justin Verlander should have gotten through eight shutout innings if Brandon Inge hadn't air-mailed the third out in the 8th.


After leading off the bottom of the ninth with a double, Eric Hosmer attempted to steal third base. He represented the game-tying run. Alex Avila and Brandon Inge made sure to send him back to the dugout when Avila caught Hosmer stealing.


AL Central Standings

Detroit 49 43 .532 0 Won 1
Cleveland 47 42 .528 0.5 Lost 3
Chicago 44 48 .478 5 Lost 1
Minnesota 41 48 .460 6.5 Won 1
Kansas City 37 54 .406 11.5 Lost 1

(updated 7.10.2011 at 5:25 PM EDT)


First place at the all-star break! Not too shabby. The team could definitely be more consistent. The rotation could be better. The bullpen could be better. The lineups could be better. Whatever. None of that really matters. The Tigers played 37 games in 38 days and they clawed their way into first place at the break. That's pretty tough. We'll take it.

12 wins, 2.15 ERA for Justin Verlander at the break. Sure, Verlander is not eligible to pitch in the All-Star Break. But he is starting the first game for the Tigers after it. Isn't that preferable with the way he's throwing this year?

Tigers announcer Dan Dickerson tweeted this:

For Verlander, he becomes just 2nd pitcher in history to make 9 st. starts of 7+IP, allowing 2ER or fewer, matching Newhouser (1945)

The game-winning run was driven in by Magglio Ordonez, by the way. That came in the sixth inning, scoring Casper Wells for his second time in the game. Ordonez has hit safely in 12 of his last 15 games, by the way. He's batting .276 during that time period.

Brandon Inge really is hurting the club by playing. He's not going to bench himself. He believes in his abilities, but that's like believing Harry Potter is real. Wait. It's like believing you are Harry Potter. The Tigers have to find a third baseman for the second-half run.

In case you like factoids, the Tigers were last in first place at the break in 2009: up 3 1/2 on the White Sox. In 2007, Detroit was up 1 on the Indians. And 2006, Detroit was up 2 on Chicago. I hesitate to even provide this information because it's probably just an invitation for the nattering nabobs to show up. But, you know what? The club is in first place.I remember the lean decade and a half. So, damn it, I'm going to enjoy it. Besides, the team has got to win the division one of these years. Why not this one?

OK. Four days off. Enjoy the break. We'll finally catch up on that giant gaping hole in analysis, so check back here frequently all week.