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Braves 1, Tigers 0: Justin Verlander's sizzling start not enough to save Detroit from elimination

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The offense disappeared in the most crucial game of the year.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In a do-or-die game, the Tigers went with the latter. The offense never showed up despite a fantastic start by Justin Verlander, and the Tigers lost in 1-0 shutout fashion to the Braves, eliminating them from Wild Card contention and bringing about an end to frayed postseason hopes.

Verlander gave it all he had and then some. The offense, though, had nothing to put forth. He pitched a fine start against the Braves and worked through early trouble to allow one run in seven innings. He single-handedly kept Atlanta from creating a massive deficit, but he received no run support as thanks for his efforts.

Rather, the offense was nowhere to be found for the second straight game, and they couldn’t have done it at a worse time. There were a mere four hits tagged to Braves pitching, and a solid battle by Verlander in the fifth. In some ways, this game was representative of the Tigers’ season — plenty of hope and opportunity, and unable to grab hold of their future when it mattered most.

Only Iglesias and Miguel Cabrera finished with multiple hits, and with the latter’s second hit to start the ninth, the Tigers couldn’t pull the string.

ROARS:

Justin Verlander: He was on fire, stranding the Braves with ferocity and allowing just one inning through seven innings. He also had one heck of an at-bat in the fifth, fighting off several fouls and put up a better fight than most of the offense had to that point.

Bruce Rondon: Had the Braves swinging wildly and didn’t allow a free pass in the eighth.

HISSES:

Tigers offense: With a runner on second on Jose Iglesias’ double in the seventh, the Tigers lined into an inning-ending double play. They also spoiled earlier chances against Julio Teheran and played the fools yet again.

STATS AND REACTIONS:
  • Justin Verlander’s strikeout of Dansby Swanson in the fifth inning was his 250th of the year. It marks his first 250+ strikeout season since 2011 when he won the Cy Young.
  • Miguel Cabrera got to a 10-game hitting streak with a two-out single to right in the sixth. Sneaky, too. Hadn’t realized he had a nine-gamer going until that moment.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs