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Red Sox 7, Tigers 2: Jackie Bradley Jr. tears up the Tigers bullpen

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The Tigers defense flusters and the bullpen does what they do: blow games.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers needed a win today, and you had to think that this would be the game to do it. After the momentum from yesterday's win, the Tigers had Justin Verlander going on the mound against rookie pitcher Henry Owens. However, the defense for the Tigers made some very questionable plays during the first few innings, eventually leading to a 7-2 loss.

In the second inning, Verlander got the first two outs relatively easily, but then things started to go the wrong way. The next three batters all reached on infield singles and an error by Ian Kinsler, loading the bases. Then, in an uncharacteristic at-bat for Verlander, he walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to score the first run for the Red Sox.  Right after that, Brock Holt was able to get an infield single off of a misplayed ground ball from Jefry Marte. Verlander was able to induce a weak grounder that would have gotten the Tigers out of the second inning, but Marte didn't realize he should have gone directly to the bag instead of trying to field it. This caused him to be late getting to the bag, which allowed the Red Sox to extend their lead to two runs.

However, the real problem came in the form of Jackie Bradley Jr. He had one of the best offensive games of his careeragainst the Tigers today and was the reason Detroit was not able to tie the game. Bradley made a huge catch in the fourth, then hit a solo home run against Tom Gorzelanny in the seventh to put the Red Sox up 3-1. Then, after Marte made it 3-2 with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning, Bradley was given another chance to do some damage in the eighth. Wiith two outs, the Tigers chose to walk Josh Rutledge to get to Bradley for the lefty-on-lefty matchup with Ian Krol. Krol loaded the count, then Bradley Jr. hit a three-run triple to put the Red Sox up 6-2.  Then, Bradley scored off of a base hit from Brock Holt to make the score 7-2. That would be it for the Tigers as they would not be able to score any more runs.

ROARS:

Rajai Davis: During the third inning, Davis made a heads-up play that allowed him to steal an extra base and get into scoring posiiton. While he was attempting to steal, Davis saw the ball go past the catcher and quickly rounded second, reaching third on a steal and wild pitch.

Victor Martinez: Martinez continues to find some power during this series. In the third inning, he hit a two-out single to plate he Tigers' first run of the game. While many were wondering earlier in the month whether Martinez would be able to find his swing, the past few games have proved otherwise.

HISSES:

Tigers Defense: The Tigers defense for the first half of the game was poor, to say the least. Justin Verlander did not have a bad game by any means, but defensive miscues caused Verlander's pitch count to climb early. With better defense, Verlander might have been able to pitch more innings in the game, which could have changed the outcome later on.

Ian Krol: In the top of the eighth inning, the Tigers were only down one run. Krol came in to face the bottom half of the Red Sox lineup. He then proceeded to load the bases and give up four runs. Simple as that.

STREAKS AND STATS

  • Ian Kinsler has been one of the most consistent hitters for the Tigers. He had two doubles on the day. Since July 1, Ian Kinsler is batting .382, tops in the American League during that timespan. He is currently on a five-game hit streak. He leads the majors with 44 multi-hit games.
  • Rajai Davis continues to be one of the fastest players on the basepaths for the Tigers. He totaled his 17th steal of the season today.
  • Although his pitch count became very high early on in the game, that didn't stop Justin Verlander from recording seven strikeouts on the day.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH


Source: FanGraphs}