Patience is a virtue. Fortunately, the Tigers are a pretty virtuous bunch, and held on to win a rain-delayed rubber match 2-0, taking the series from the Yankees in the Bronx.
The first rain delay of the daypushed back the start of the game by about 90 minutes; eventually, the Tigers and Yankees headed into the final game of their three-game series. Many wondered if the Tigers had it in them to compete after trading off some key pieces, but the team has looked sharp since the trade deadline on Monday.
Jordan Zimmermann faced off against Masahiro Tanaka, and Zimmermann was on point, maintaining a nice low pitch count through the game and keeping the Yankees off the board. His pitch count never went above above 18 pitches for any one inning, and was as low as 8 for an inning.
The Tigers scored in the first with singles from Ian Kinlser and Jim Aducci, and then an RBI double from Justin Upton. They scored again in the fourth off a thrice-bobbled single from James McCann, who drove in Mikie Mahtook.
Victor Martinez made personal history, hitting his 400th double, which is no small feat given his (lack of) speed on the basepaths.
Did not think Victor Martinez had chance at 2B on liner to RF corner. He beats Judge throw for 400th career double, then helps up Gregorius.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) August 2, 2017
The rain started coming hard in the seventh inning, then bang. No, not the sound of a home run, but that of thunder, signalling the arrival of the game’s second rain delay.
A lot of loud thunder and lightning... pic.twitter.com/UijRhqSJCC— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) August 2, 2017
The second delay lasted long enough for you to watch Interstellar with a little time left over. Then, after the skies cleared and the field was prepared, Dellin Betances promptly threw an Immaculate Inning (with a little help from plate umpire Dan Bellino).
After Zimmermann exited, Brad Ausmus went to the beleaguered Bruce Rondon in the eighth. Rondon gave up a dribbler of an infield single to Jacoby Ellsbury, wild-pitched him to second... and then struck out Aaron Judge on a nasty full-count slider, induced a Gary Sanchez groundout, and struck out Didi Gregorius. (Naturally.)
After the Tigers stranded Mahtook on second in the top of the ninth, Shane Greene came on to attempt his second save in two days. Which he did indeed nail down, in style.
Mikie Mahtook: He showed some serious hustle after Ellsbury bobbled a single in right field.
Mahtook went 1B to home in 10.36 seconds, according to @statcast. Fastest such time by a Tiger this year (insert sample size joke here).— Jason Beck (@beckjason) August 2, 2017
Jordan Zimmermann: Held the Yankees scoreless through 7 innings, only needing 92 pitches to do so. No walks, six hits, six strikeouts. Mighty fine.
Bruce Rondon: Came back from 3-0 counts to get his first two outs. The guy has talent, he really does.
Mother Nature: Boo, rain. The start of the game was delayed by 90 minutes, and there was a 3 hour, 11 minute delay in the middle. So much for an early getaway-game finish.
Nicholas Castellanos: A 0-for-4 day with three whiffs.
STREAKS & INFO
James McCann now has a 12-game hitting streak.
The Tigers were the victims of their second 9-pitch, 3-strikeout inning this year. This was only the 32nd such inning in the history of the American League.
Bruce Rondon’s ERA is now 11.20, and headed in the right direction.