|Final - 6.29.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Tampa Bay Rays||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||X||4||7||0|
|WP: David Price (11 - 4)
SV: Fernando Rodney (22)
LP: Justin Verlander (8 - 5)
Desmond Jennings hit his first 2 home runs of the season to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers. David Price (11-4) pitched 7 innings for the Rays, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, becoming the first AL pitcher to 11 wins. Fernando Rodney posted his 22nd save of the season. Verlander took the loss, falling to 8-5.
Ben Zobrist also homered for the Rays, his 10th. Delmon Young hit his 6th home run for the Tigers.
You knew it was going to be one of those nights when the Rays scored first. Not in that they scored, but in how they scored.
Carlos Pena hit a hard ground ball toward 1st base. But it took a tough hop, catching Prince Fielder in the shoulder, who was slow to pick up ball. A hustling Pena beat the throw to 1st (The play was scored E-3, later changed to a single). B.J. Upton followed with a single to left. Quintin Berry assumed Pena would stop at 2nd...and got caught. Running aggressively, Pena easily went from 1st to 3rd on a single hit in front him. Not all the credit goes to Pena. Berry took his sweet damn time getting to the ball. When he looked up, Pena was halfway to 3rd base. Absolutely ridiculous.
Fielder's diving stop on Luke Scott's rocket of a ground ball saved kept Upton from coming around, but Pena scored to give then Rays a lead they would never relinquish. It was a tough 29 pitch inning for Verlander, reaching a 3-2 count on 3 Rays. We had to welcome back Inefficient Verlander.
The rest of the Rays' scoring came from drilling Verlander fastballs into the seats. (Never thought I'd write that line)
Desmond Jennings ended up in the the laps of fans while hauling in Berry's foul fly to end the top of the 3rd. As what always seems to happen, the player who just made a nice defensive play in the top half of the inning led off the bottom half. Of course, Jennings proceeded to line Verlander's 1st pitch into the left field stands for a 2-0 lead. Even the light hitting Jennings can get around on a low 90's fastball over the heart of the plate.
In the 4th, Ben Zobrist pulled a 92 MPH Verlander fastball into the right field seats. In the 5th, Jennings did it again, yanking Verlander's mid-90's fastball over the left field wall.
Verlander struck out 8 Rays in his 6 innings, regaining the MLB lead. But to do so, Verlander needed 49 pitches to just get through the first 2 innings and 120 pitches total. Not an efficient performance from the Tigers' ace.
Speaking of aces...
While Verlander was handing out gopher balls like Halloween candy, Price was outstanding and efficient He allowed 2 harmless singles in 4 innings. The Tigers finally got to Price in the 5th, Young hitting a long solo home run to left center. The Tigers manufactured a run off Price in the 7th. Ramon Santiago scored on Fielder's ground out to draw the Tigers within 2 of the Rays at 4-2..
Price was in complete control, but was pulled while warming up for 8th inning due to back spams. The Rays' ace was the polar opposite of Verlander, tossing only 78 pitches in 7 innings.
Tigers' ex-pat Rodney was no roller-caster closer tonight. He struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 inning. Damn you, Fernado! Where was this version of you in 2009?
David Price showed why he's considered one of the best pitchers in baseball. Sometimes the other guy just plain beats you, or in this case, out pitches you. Tonight was one of those games...though it would have been nice to pay back Rodney for all those heart attacks he caused as a Tiger.
We've been spoiled by Justin Verlander. 4 runs allowed in 6 innings is considered a bad start. Regardless, it was a fluke stat filled night for Verlander.
- Verlander had given up just 2 home runs in 4 previous starts (28 innings) at the concrete bunker known as Tropicana Field. He allowed 3 in 6 innings tonight.
- Verlander allowed 3 home runs in a game for the first time since the White Sox did so in April 2011.
- Verlander had never before allowed home runs in three consecutive innings..until tonight.
- Verlander did keep his streak of 6 plus inning starts alive at 59 games. Meaningless, but everyone is tracking it like it means something. So know you know.
- 2 home runs for Desmond Jennings? Really? Really.
In case you missed it:
Delmon Young: What little offense there was for the Tigers came from Young, 2-3 with a home run.
Ramon Santiago: Doubled, scored the Tigers 2nd run.
Octavio Dotel: 2 innings of shutout relief.
Justin Verlander: Itty-bitty Will Rhymes narrowly missed taking Verlander yard, his big fly falling just foul. When Rhymes is taking you deep, let alone Desmond Jennings twice, it's not your night.
Miguel Cabrera: The big man was invisible, going 0-3. When Cabrera doesn't hit, the Tigers are like a muscle car with water mixed in gas tank - Misfiring.
Quintin Berry: Another questionable defensive play from Berry, which has occurred all too often. One of the reasons he got to the big leagues was because of his hustle. He didn't on Pena's single, and got burned.
Rod Allen: Quote from tonight's FSD broadcast: Allen said umpires are right "99.9% of the time." Uh...no, Rod. No they aren't. At least when the Tigers are involved..
GAME 76 PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Max Scherzer striking out 7 while earning a W against the Rays gave him PotG honors with 51% of the vote.