Rick Porcello had a strong outing against the New York Yankees, but one run allowed seemed more like 10 with the Tigers offense on vacation. As a result, the Tigers were shut out, 1–0, dropping the game, and the series to the Yankees as their lead in the American League Central Division was cut to three.
Porcello retired the first seven batters before he allowed a single to Ichiro Suzuki in the third inning. Porcello said he didn't have firm command of his fastball and continued to leave several pitches up in the strike zone. As a result of that, the Yankees got several hits, striking first in the fourth inning and three consecutive hits yielded a run with two outs.
The Tigers caught somewhat of a break though, because had the ground-rule double by Stephen Drew stayed on the field it would have likely given the Yankees another run. Instead, they went into the fifth inning trailing 1–0 rather than 2–0. As much as Porcello's command of the zone lacked on Thursday, he managed to keep the damage to the bare minimum.
The sixth and seventh innings put Porcello into jams because of his difficulty keeping the ball down, however, he managed to escape them without giving up one run as solid defensive plays by the Tigers kept the damage low.
However, the offense either couldn't get a hit or couldn't catch a break. While a one-run deficit seems like an easy one to overcome, the Tigers made sure that wasn't the case and even though Miguel Cabrera came on in the ninth inning after what was supposed to be an off-day for him, the Tigers couldn't get the job done.
The Tigers missed out on an opportunity in the fourth inning when Victor Martinez singled and J.D. Martinez drew a four-pitch walk to put two aboard with two outs. However, Don Kelly, who had singled to right field in the second inning, struck out swinging on three pitches on the appeal to third base.
In the sixth inning, back-to-back hits by Ezequiel Carrera and Ian Kinsler put runners on the corners with one out. Just as quickly as the rally began, however, it died off the bat of Victor Martinez, who hit into an inning-ending double play.
The only other opportunity came in the ninth inning when Kinsler hit a leadoff single and Victor Martinez walked to put two aboard. Miguel Cabrera came on to pinch hit for J.D. Martinez, but he grounded into a double play and with Kinsler at third base, Don Kelly popped out harmlessly to end the game.
The Tigers offense certainly helped the Yankees take the series as a result of their slumbering at-bats, but the Yankees starting rotation didn't exactly pitch an awful series. To the Yankees' credit, they pitched well against one of the better teams in baseball and sometimes you have to tip your cap when it happens.
Rick Porcello: Like Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, Porcello deserved a much better fate than the one that was handed to him. He went seven strong innings despite not having his best stuff, giving up just one run on nine hits while striking out five. Porcello slipped out of four big jams, most notably in the seventh when the bases were loaded without allowing a run. The only run he gave up was in the fourth inning on a ground-rule RBI double by Drew.
Tigers defense: Strong plays by the defense, in particular Andrew Romine, Ian Kinsler and Ezequiel Carrera, prevented more than the one-run of damage from being done. Kinsler started two sparkling 4–6–3 double plays in the third and sixth innings that ended the third and gave Porcello two outs to work with.
Tigers offense: Forget the idea that the offense never left the airport, it stayed on the plane and took a vacation. Despite two golden opportunities to score in fourth and sixth innings with runners at second and third respective to their innings, they kicked both to the curb without so much as a thank you.
Tigers offense? Heyyyy ... you ok? pic.twitter.com/wZrxkcNRHX— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) August 7, 2014
Yankees defense: The Tigers had a few hard-hit balls, but the Yankees flashed the leather and took them away just as quickly as they could hit them.
Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera: Both came on in big moments of the game with the ability to break things wide open. Instead, Martinez and Cabrera both grounded into a double play in the sixth and ninth innings respectively.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- The Tigers have scored eight runs in the last seven road games and have hit a mere .160/.200/.225 with just nine extra-base hits and nine walks. They have struck out 59 times in that stretch.
- The Tigers defense turned the 23rd double play behind Porcello and their 122nd of the season, which is first in MLB.
- The Tigers were shut out for the sixth time this season.
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