We’ve seen the Tigers waste starts like the one Justin Verlander put together on Sunday, but the offense refused to let that happen. After an early no-no watch was in force for both Verlander and Kenta Maeda, the Tigers eventually got to Dodgers’ pitching and cruised to a 6-1 victory.
Verlander racked up seventeen outs in this one before Curtis Granderson scraped a Verlander slider off the foul pole in right for the first hit, and run, of the game. A Yasiel Puig walk, the only one allowed on the day by Tigers’ pitching, had spoiled the perfect game chance in the fifth inning. The Tigers’ ace was incredible otherwise, mastering the most dangerous lineup in the game for eight innings, allowing just two hits, a walk, and racking up nine strikeouts.
Kenta Maeda was less dominant, but just as effective for the Dodgers. The Tigers didn’t break through with a hit until the bottom of the sixth. But when they did, they poured on the offense. With John Hicks and Andrew Romine on second and third, Dixon Machado pulled a hot grounder down the third base line for a two-run double. Justin Upton followed with a towering home run to left field, and the Tigers led 4-1.
They added on in the eighth as Verlander continued to roll. Ian Kinsler singled and stole second base. JaCoby Jones followed with a walk. Then Miguel Cabrera drove one deep up the right field gap and Kike Hernandez and Yasiel Puig miscommunicated on it, leading it to fall for a two-run double that locked in the final score at 6-1. While Ian Kinsler waited to make sure the ball dropped in, JaCoby Jones was roaring up on his heels, leading to the sight of them both sprinting home just a moment apart.
Daniel Stumpf allowed a single in the ninth, but cleaned things up nicely with a punchout of Adrian Gonzalez to put this one in the books.
Justin Verlander: Eight innings of one run ball, with just two hits and a walk allowed. Verlander showed some of his best command of the year and overpowered the Dodgers with a dominant fastball/slider combination.
Justin Upton: Just one hit, but it was a big fly.
Miguel Cabrera: Nice to be able to put him in for a roar. Cabrera doubled as part of a two hit day with a pair of RBI and a run scored.
Dixon Machado: Had the game’s biggest hit when he doubled home Kinsler and Jones to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Took the day off for once.
Stats and Info
With today’s start, Justin Verlander got his ERA back under 4.00 and ran his K/9 for the season to 9.00.
"Out there against best team in MLB. This AM told myself to take playoff type intensity out there & not let these guys sweep us."— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) August 20, 2017