I’ve had to rewrite this part like three times already and I’m not rewriting it again. The Detroit Tigers looked done after a lackluster offensive effort and a key defensive gaffe gave the Kansas City Royals a 2-1 lead in the seventh. Detroit took a 3-2 lead on a two-run homer from Mikie Mahtook in the ninth. But, since we can’t have nice things, Justin Wilson blew the save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth.
The Tigers wasted a stellar effort from Justin Verlander, who struck out eight in seven innings. They wasted a clutch and emotional moment from Mahtook, who could have provided the type of spark a team needs to potentially make a run late in the season.
This is why they are in fourth place. This is why they traded J.D. Martinez on Tuesday.
This is why they are rebuilding.
Mikie Mahtook: His two-run homer should have been the shining moment of this game, week, and maybe the entire season. It’s not his fault they lost.
Justin Verlander: We haven’t seen many outings like this from Verlander this season. He gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings, and struck out eight to just one walk. He deserved the win.
Bruce Rondon: He gave up a two-out double to Lorenzo Cain, but otherwise looked sharp in his lone inning of work. The scoreless inning turned out to be big for a moment.
The offense, sans Mahtook: Jason Hammel had a career 8.02 ERA in 10 outings against the Tigers heading into this game, but Detroit was only able to manage four hits (all singles) off him in 6 1⁄3 innings. They only had two hits off him after the first inning.
Justin Wilson: That wasn’t the best time to have an off night.