DETROIT — Justin Verlander had a shorter night than is typical of him, but he still wowed with nine strikeouts and looked sharp. Backed by four runs and a Victor Martinez bomb, the Tigers got back to winning and took a 4-3 victory from the Mets with strong help from the bullpen.
Verlander was nearly unhittable. He had a devastating curveball and a slider that tallied four of his nine strikeouts on the night. The only problem, though, was that the Mets refused to go quietly. The hitters drove his pitch count up with prolonged at-bats, with eight lasting six pitches or longer. That’s not to say he didn’t have good stuff — he did — but the Mets’ approach and Verlander’s strikeouts limited his game depth.
As the evening wore on, it became increasingly difficult for Verlander to put away hitters with ease. The sixth inning was a battle, one that saw 12 pitches thrown to two batters for one out. Passing the 100-pitch mark, he finally put away James Loney but it took a 10-pitch contest to get him to go down swinging. That would be the end of Verlander’s night.
Noah Syndergaard wasn’t as lights-out as Verlander, but until the fourth he was tough to hit. The only reason the Tigers had a run in the first inning was thanks to a manufactured run by Ian Kinsler. But it was in the fourth inning that Detroit got to Thor. A leadoff single by Cabrera was followed by a thundering two-run shot by Victor Martinez, which was then followed by an RBI single by James McCann.
Justin Verlander: Struck out nine but he dealt with a pesky Mets team and paid the price in depth. Still, he limited New York to just four hits and two runs — a two-run homer by Kelly Johnson in the fourth.
Victor and J.D. Martinez: Martinez and Company were back in business. The former smashed a two-run homer and walked, and J.D. knocked a wall-bounced double and an infield single.
Tigers’ bullpen: Shane Greene gave the Mets no mercy. Justin Wilson was unfair. The pair struck out three batters and Wilson needed just 12 pitches
Francisco Rodriguez: Allowed the third run of the night. Wasn’t particularly sharp.
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h/t to @Stareagle for pointing out opposing baserunners have stolen a base on 47 of 52 attempts in Syndergaard's career, 32 of 36 in '16— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) August 5, 2016
With Thor in the building, the puns were everywhere. Your fearless BYB Twitter leader knocked it out of the park. Enjoy a couple:
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