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Tigers 12, Indians 0: Justin Verlander twirls a gem in cathartic win over Cleveland

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The offense blasted 16 hits and three homers for a sound beating of Cleveland.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — If there ever was a win more reassuring, it was Tuesday night’s 12-0 shutout of the Indians thanks to Justin Verlander’s convincing start and a great night for the offense. Miguel Cabrera and the offense went to town on Cleveland pitching in what was nothing less than revenge for past offenses.

The egos of the Indians’ backup lineup lay strewn across home plate. Having thoroughly toyed with the hitters in humiliating fashion, Verlander had Cleveland seeing double — and not because of their “hangover” from the night before. The first two batters struck out so violently, they nearly spun out of their shoes, and 10 of the 12 strikeouts were swinging.

Verlander’s command was filthy throughout the night, but it was how he played with Cleveland that stood out. His fastball touched 98 mph and his offspeed pitches had devastating drop to them. The result: four hits by the Indians, all stranded.

Opposite Verlander’s sterling evening, Cabrera put forth his own memorable stamp and accounted for five of the Tigers’ 12 runs. His moonshot moment was a 444-foot dinger into the center field bushes below the camera well.

Cabrera wasn’t the only Tiger to punish a baseball, though, as Justin Upton rocked one to left for a three-run shot. His knock in the seventh and the Tigers’ backup-crew replacements in the eighth accounted for six runs. Those last two runs were courtesy of one Andrew Romine, who deposited a no-doubt homer into the Belle Tire tunnel to complete the bludgeoning.

ROARS:

Justin Verlander: 7 23 innings of no-run baseball. He struck out 12 batters and gave up just four hits.

Miguel Cabrera: Five RBI night easily gets you a roar. He was also intentionally walked in the fourth when Terry Francona didn’t want to play roulette with the Tigers scoring again. He also singled in the seventh.

Justin Upton: Two-run homer, a single, and a walk.

The entire Tigers offense: 16 hits and they left just five on-base.

HISSES:

Slept through the alarms.

STATS AND REACTIONS:
  • Miguel Cabrera’s five RBI gave him 102 RBI on the year. He’s now had 12 seasons with 100-or-more RBI, and eight of those have been with the Tigers. Those eight 100-RBI seasons are now tied with Harry Heilmann for most in franchise history.
  • The five RBI driven in by Cabrera ties his single-game record for the second-most RBI in a game, and the ninth of his career. The last time he drove in five was on May 14, 2015 in a 13-1 win over the Twins. His single-game career high is six RBI.
  • Justin Verlander struck out 10-or-more batters in a game for the eighth time this season, and the 37th time in his career. His last was against the Twins on Sept. 22.
  • Verlander struck out 12 batters for the first time since Sept. 23, 2013, over three years ago.
  • The last time Verlander pitched 7 23 innings, gave up no runs, and allowed four-or-less hits in a game that the Tigers also won was May 18, 2012 (6-0 shutout vs. the Pirates). This was the biggest margin (by double the score) with those parameters the team won by.
  • Andrew Romine's two-run home run was the first multi-run homer of his major league career. He had never hit more than a solo shot until Tuesday night.
  • The Orioles lost 5-1 to the Blue Jays, so the Tigers are just one game behind the Orioles for the second Wild Card. As of publication, the Astros lead the Mariners 8-4 in the sixth, which would drop the Mariners further back from the chase for that second Wild Card and give the Tigers some breathing room — it’s getting too crowded around here.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs