|Final - 7.21.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Justin Verlander (13 - 5)
LP: Carl Pavano (6 - 7)
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KEY STAT A
Ten straight wins.
Tonight was the Tigers 10th consecutive win over the Twins, raising their record to 6-0 for the season against one of their main divisional rivals.
KEY STAT B
20 quality starts.
Verlander has 22 starts on the season. 20 are quality starts.
KEY PLAY A
Justin Verlander stranding Michael Cuddyer at 3rd base after leading off the 3rd inning with a triple.
Once Cuddyer found himself on 3rd, Verlander bore down and proceeded to strike out Jim Thome and Danny Valencia. He then induced a ground out from Delmon Young to end the threat. It was Verlander at his best.
KEY PLAY B
Brennan Boesch's 5th inning two run home run with Wilson Betemit on base, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
It was anyone's game until that point, but Boesch's bash gave the Tigers and Verlander all the runs they would need. It was Boesch's 14th homer of the season, as he continues to impress at the plate.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really liking the Tigers' everyday lineup.
Throughout the game I kept hearing the Twins PA folks play songs by "The Outfield." I liked the 2nd British Invasion as much as anyone back in the day, but did I take a time machine back to1985, and no one told me?
Did my eyes deceive me? What the Hell did I see from Wilson Betemit at the end of the game? His shot put-like push-throw bounced several times as it skittered across the infield, ultimately rolling far away from 1st base, allowing a meaningless run to score. It may have been the worst play I've ever seen from a 3rd baseman. Any 3rd baseman.
Late game butchery aside, I'm not ready to start a "Free Brandon Inge" campaign. But damn, that was FUGLY.
The Twins kicked up their heels in the 6th inning, nicking Verlander for their only run. With a run in, two out and Twinkies on 1st and 3rd, Thome came to the plate. Thome may be old and looks like he pounds cheeseburgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but he remains a threat to go deep. On a 2-2 count, Verlander threw a curve which was absolutely, completely unhittable. Thome just stood at the plate with his jaw on the ground for strike three. Inning and rally over.
As I said, Verlander is good at baseball. The Tigers' ace is now 13-5, with a 2.24 ERA and a scary good 0.88 WHIP.
Jhonny Peralta is also good at baseball. He had three hits, ending a triple shy of the cycle. The night included his 15th homer of the year, a tape measure shot landing in the left field 2nd deck of Target Field. Comeback Player of the Year, anyone?
The loss dropped the Twins six games back of the Central division lead. The win gave the Tigers sole possession of 1st place for the first time since July 10th. With the Indians idle, the Tigers move 1/2 games in front.