The Tigers remained out of rhythm during the worst possible month, this time getting a strong starting pitching performance out of Justin Verlander only to have the lineup waste it, with Detroit falling 1-0 to the Indians in 10 innings.
Justin Wilson drew the defeat after walking the leadoff batter. Jason Kipnis, who reached a fielder’s choice following that walk, scored on a single by Jose Ramirez for the winning run after Wilson helped him around the bases with some pitches in the dirt.
This game’s result was made all the worse because it a win was darn near handed to the Tigers on a silver platter. The Tigers’ offense was shut out for nine innings by the Indians bullpen after they lost starter Carlos Carrasco to a broken hand just two pitches into the game. Eight relievers combined to limit Detroit to three hits and three walks while striking out 10.
In fact, the Tigers reached scoring position just twice in the game, once in the first inning and not again until the sixth. Miguel Cabrera did his part, going 2-for-3 with a walk. No one else did much of anything.
Which was a pity, because Verlander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning (though he did walk four up to that point) before Jason Kipnis led off the inning with a hit. That was the only hit Verlander allowed for the game. He struck out seven, and kept runners off the bases for three of his final four frames.
Alex Wilson got into trouble in the eighth after allowing runners to reach second and third with one out, but he struck out Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli back-to-back to escape.
The Indians had a good chance to win the game in the ninth inning. Pinch-runner Rajai Davis stole second and third bases after Tyler Naquin singled with two outs. However, Bruce Rondon got Brandon Guyer to ground out to third to force extra innings.
With each pitiful showing, their chance of sneaking in as the second wild card becomes more and more unlikely. It’s too early to say it’s over, with more than two weeks remaining in the season. They currently stand at 3 games out after the Orioles lost. But the sand is slipping out of the hourglass with each blown opportunity.
Justin Verlander — Threw seven scoreless innings, allowing only a lone hit. He walked four and struck out seven.
Miguel Cabrera — With two hits and a walk, he was the only Tiger consistently on base.
Tigers offense — Detroit’s offense continues to remain lost more often than not. Miguel Cabrera doubled in the first to reach scoring position before being stranded. No Tiger saw second base again until Jose Iglesias walked and stole second in the sixth inning. He made it as far as third before being stranded.
Stats and stuff
- Indians starter Carlos Carrasco exited the game after two pitches when he was hit on the hand by a comebacker. He was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of his fifth metacarpal.
- Miguel Cabrera reached the 2,499-hit mark. His next hit will make him the 100th player in MLB history to reach 2,500. He had a chance in the ninth but struck out.
- Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid was broken up by the leadoff hitter in the sixth inning, Jason Kipnis.
Win Probability Chart