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Tigers 2, Cubs 1: Jordan Zimmermann, bullpen lead Tigers to victory

Enjoy our two-headed account of a 2-1 Tigers win over the Cubs.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers exacted their revenge on the Chicago Cubs after a two-game sweep at Wrigley Field in early July tonight, as they defeated the National League powerhouse Cubs, 2-1.

[Editor’s note: We got our wires crossed at BYB HQ, and had two separate writers pen recaps for this game. Instead of giving one hard-working author the shaft, we decided to publish both accounts in the same article.]

Zane: Earlier this season — July 3, to be exact — the Tigers faced Kyle Hendricks at Wrigley Field. They pounced on him back then for an early lead, scoring three runs in the first inning, and did so again on Tuesday with two runs in the bottom of the first. Hendricks has now allowed 25 earned runs in 26 first innings this year, good for an 8.65 ERA, with five of those runs thanks to the Tigers (it’s surprising that Joe Maddon has not opted for an Opener with Hendricks this year). Hendricks settled in afterward, though, and while he did allow 10 hits on the night, he went seven innings allowing just the two earned runs from the first inning while posting one walk and three strikeouts.

Peter: The Tigers got things going early. They scored two runs in the first inning, the first coming on a fielder’s choice grounder from Nicholas Castellanos with runners on the corners and no one out. The second run came on a two-out single from Victor Martinez. Jordan Zimmermann struck out the side in the second after a leadoff single, and kept the Cubs off the board till the top of the sixth when Anthony Rizzo (literally) fell over himself to jump all over an 80 mile-per-hour hanger in the zone and send it over the right field wall by 20 feet.

Zane: Zimmermann was effective tonight despite some early troubles. After striking out Albert Almora Jr. and getting Jason Heyward to line out in the first inning, he allowed back-to-back singles to Javier Baez and Rizzo before getting Ben Zobrist to pop out. In the second inning, he allowed a leadoff single to Kyle Schwarber, but then struck out the side as he got David Bote, Willson Contreras, and Tommy La Stella swinging. Zimmermann’s closest call came in the fourth inning. He allowed a lead-off walk to Zobrist then got Kyle Schwarber to fly out. When David Bote came up, he hit a potential double play ball to Jose Iglesias, who missed the throw, leaving runners on the corners with only one out. The next pitch, Willson Contreras hit into a double play. Figures. Zimmermann finished going six strong innings while allowing seven hits and one earned run (the Rizzo solo home run) on one walk and five strikeouts.

Peter: The Tigers had chances to widen the lead in the middle innings, but would strand multiple runners on base thanks to some unfortunately placed line drives. In the fifth, they put two runners in scoring position with no one out, but Castellanos lined into an inning-ending double play. Victor Reyes took off on what should have been a line drive up the middle, but a slick diving play by Zobrist denied the Tigers of runs. In the bottom of the sixth, after a BUNT SINGLE FROM VICTOR MARTINEZ, Jim Adduci hit a liner right back to Hendricks, who easily doubled off Martinez at first.

Zane: The Tigers had numerous players contribute in tonight’s game. Jeimer Candelario and Jose Iglesias both went 2-for-4 batting first and second, each scoring a run. Victor Martinez continued his hot play with a 3-for-4 night while driving in the decisive run in the first inning (more on him in just a moment). The bullpen also impressed, as Drew VerHagen, Joe Jimenez, and Shane Greene locked down the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Jimenez was particularly impressive, as he struck out Kyle Schwarber and David Bote swinging in back-to-back at-bats with a very effective fastball. Shane Greene, meanwhile, ended the game with a strikeout to end a 10-pitch duel against Jason Heyward.

Peter: The Tigers bullpen would support Zimmermann after he exited after six innings of one-run, seven-hit ball. Drew VerHagen tossed a scoreless seventh, and then Joe Jimenez pitching a shaky but uneventful eighth with two strikeouts, both after falling behind the batter 3-1. In the ninth inning, Shane Greene would make things uneventful for the Cubs as he set the first two down before setting down Jason Heyward to close out a tight, much-needed win for the Tigers at home.

Zane: Finally, let’s return to Victor Martinez, who blessed the world with another bunt single tonight. When Victor retires at the end of this season, this will hopefully be one of the final plays on his “career highlights” reel.

Tweets of the Game


Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Jordan Zimmermann (6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)
    (137 votes)
  • 40%
    Victor Martinez (3-4, 1 RBI, Bunt Single)
    (94 votes)
  • 1%
    Joe Jimenez (1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K)
    (4 votes)
235 votes total Vote Now