|Final - 7.7.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Kansas City Royals||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||8||1|
|WP: Max Scherzer (10 - 4)
SV: Jose Valverde (22)
LP: Danny Duffy (1 - 4)
Inherited runners-scored: Phil Coke 2-0.
Coke entered the game in the 7th, with the Royals kicking up their heels with two out, with runners on 1st and 2nd. Coke faced the left hand hitting Mike Moustakas. Unlike certain other left handed relievers we've seen on the Tigers, Coke didn't walk the batter or dig himself into a deeper hole. He induced a lazy fly ball to center on a 2-2 count to end the Royals threat.
Jim Leyland praised Coke after the game, "Cokie (Note from Big Al: Cokie?) came in, did what he's supposed to do, got a big out from a lefty when we needed it."
With two out in the 2nd inning, after a Miguel Cabrera walk, the much derided Ryan Raburn deposited a Danny Duffy pitch over the left field wall for a two run home run. It was all the runs the Tigers would need.
Yes, even Ryan Raburn can win a game for you. As he's been a big time second half player in his career, and the season is half over...hey, it could happen!
Max Scherzer had a very good outing, pushing his victory total into double digits for the season in the process. After getting blasted out of the box in his last start against the Giants, the on and off (and on and off).Scherzer was on tonight, tossing a quality start (6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) at the Royals. The bothersome part is we know Scherzer is capable of pitching like this on a consistent basis. Why he hasn't is one of the reasons Rick Knapp is no longer employed. Maybe new pitching coach Jeff Jones found something in Scherzer's mechanics that cured his inconsistency. We can only hope.
Don Kelly is adequate at baseball. And I mean that as a compliment. His 9th inning solo shot gave the Tigers an important insurance run.
The late inning tandem of Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde did what they were supposed to do, shut the door on the opposition after seven innings. They made things a little interesting, especially the Big Potato (who has had a bit of Todd Jones in him as of late) ending the game with the winning run at the plate for the Royals. But a save is a save, and a win a win, no matter if it was a tad nerve wracking.
Austin Jackson left the game after the 2nd inning with a sore left wrist. There were no signs of how he may have injured himself during the game, but Fox Sports Detroit showed a post game replay of Jackson flexing his wrist in discomfort after a 1st inning swing. After the game, the Tigers announced there was "some inflammation" in the wrist, saying it's not serious. Though it is serious enough for the Tigers to also say Jackson will likely miss Friday's game.
The Tigers are already short one outfielder (Brennan Boesch is day to day after fouling a ball off his right knee), so the last thing the Tigers need is to lose their best defensive outfielder, and only player close to being considered a leadoff man, for any length of time. Hopefully Jackson is only on the pine for a game or two.
We saw what can happen without Jackson manning center field in the 9th. Raburn was in left with a bead on a fly ball for the final out, when backup CF Casper Wells ran in front of him as the ball arrived. The look on Raburn's face as he ran off the field was priceless.
With the victory, the Tigers could only keep pace with the Indians in the standings, and remain 1.5 games back. The Tribe had a ridiculous come from behind walk off 5-4 win on a grand slam against the Blue Jays tonight.
Man, they must be living right in Cleveland. I hope they are living on borrowed time as well.