|Final - 8.6.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Kansas City Royals||0||0||0||0||1||0||2||0||0||3||9||1|
Victor Martinez, 3-for-4, 2 RBI
KEY STATS B AND C
Justin Verlander won his 16th game of the year. We may not think pitching wins is a great stat, but Cy Young voters might look at the number so it may as well keep going up.
Jose Valverde is now a perfect 32 saves for 32 opportunities, matching Willie Hernandez's mark. Hernandez converted his between April 6 and Sept. 23, 1984. It's no 74 saves, but it puts Valverde's name in the Tigers' record book.
Not key to the win, but how could I not highlight Austin Jackson's catch after Justin Verlander threw his first pitch of the game. It was hit 410 feet or so, but a foot too low. Rather than describe it, I'll just point you toward the video.
I guess we have to start with Victor Martinez. While doing a patented V-Mart dance at the plate, his knee barked and bit and he went down. I can only imagine most Tigers fans immediately freaked out, as that is what baseball fans do best.
Leyland said everything was stable in Martinez's knee.
I think he got a little more nervous than he got hurt. We had it checked out and everything's pretty stable. We'll have to wait and see tomorrow, but he should be fine.
Martinez told Fox Sports Detroit on the postgame show that the pain was subsiding. I would expect the Tigers will take a wait-and-see approach. With an off day Monday, it gives them the opportunity to let him rest it and check it out before they play Tuesday. A DL stint wouldn't surprise me, but from the postgame it doesn't look like it's a for-sure thing. It sounds like the Tigers really dodged a bullet.
OK, the game. The Tigers are probably lucky they're playing the Royals. This wasn't exactly their finest nine innings of the year. Blown chances, poor hitting with runners in scoring position, defensive lapses and even a Justin Verlander who looked more human than Verlandery.
There were some complaints before the game about Ryan Raburn playing third, but it was in the outfield that he made an error. With little shot to throw out the runner at second, he tried anyway and tossed the ball right through the infield and into left field, allowing a run to score.
With runners in scoring position, Detroit was 3-for-15. The Tigers stranded nine. The Tigers also had opportunities to add insurance runs in both the eighth and ninth inning but couldn't execute. Generally that comes back to bite a team at some point. Fortunately Detroit was let off the hook.
Verlander's 16th win has him tied atop the AL with New York's CC Sabathia.
The Tigers are nine games over .500, their high water mark for the season. The Indians trail 4-3, so the Tigers might have a five-game lead by the time you read this. Update: Still 4 games. Texas gave up 4 runs in the ninth to lose.