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Indians 4, Tigers 1: Fulmer gem squandered in the ninth

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It was Michael Fulmer of old on the mound tonight.

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

Poll

Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Michael Fulmer: 7.0 IP, ER, 5 H, 7 SO
    (188 votes)
  • 3%
    Joe Jimenez: 1.0 IP, 2 SO
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    Martin: 2-4, R, 2B, SB, 2 SO
    (3 votes)
198 votes total Vote Now

It was a nice evenly-matched outing for the Tigers and Indians tonight, something Detroit can’t often say when facing off against Cleveland. Michael Fulmer looked controlled and focused, and definitely the highly-tuned pitching machine fans have been hoping to see all season long. He squared off against Trevor Bauer, who also looked incredibly good tonight.

Things got off to a good start early for Detroit when Nick Castellanos hit an RBI double, scoring Leonys Martin and putting the Tigers on the board in the first.

In the fourth, Yonder Alonso hit a long double that scored Edwin Encarnacion, but in a befuddling move Alonso tried to stretch his double into a triple and was easily tagged out on the basepath, eliminating the risk of further damage. Unfortunately, the Tigers weren’t able to regain the lead again after that point.

Fulmer threw 108 pitches tonight with a final line of 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Over 60 of those pitches clocked in at over 95 mph. Bauer’s line was similarly efficient, as he threw 113 and ended the night with 8 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K.

Joe Jimenez came in for the eighth and threw a clean inning, then Shane Greene came on in the ninth, hoping to keep things tied up for the Tigers going into the bottom of the inning.

Let me be honest, at the beginning of this season I probably wouldn’t have put money on the Tigers bullpen over the Indians bullpen in a tie-game scenario. Yet, going into that exact situation tonight, with the Indians pen struggling and the no-lefties Tigers pen looking pretty okay, it seemed like a good opportunity for the Tigers to shine.

Unfortunately, Greene struggled, letting two runners get on base, before ultimately giving up a three-run home run to Jason Kipnis and putting the Indians ahead 4-1.

At this point, folks in the crowd begin flapping their wings Rally Goose style and I’ll admit, I’m into it.

Alas, Cody Allen came on for the bottom of the ninth, and in spite of a lead-off walk, the Tigers weren’t able to magic Rally Goose magic happen, and dropped the first game of the series.