The last time Justin Verlander pitched, I commented on how he had been having problems with his control in the month of June. He had no such trouble today as he allowed 0 walks and 3 hits and collected 7 strikeouts in 8 innings of a 5-0 Tiger shutout over the Astros. As more evidence of his control today, Verlander threw 97 pitches and only 30 of them were balls. He retired the last 13 batters he faced in perhaps his most dominating performance as a Tiger.
The Tigers' 10 hit attack against struggling Andy Pettitte was paced by Placido Polanco, Ivan Rodriguez and Brandon Inge who had 2 hits apiece. Pettitte was not helped by his defense as middle infielders Chris Burke and Eric Bruntlett made errors which led to 3 unearned runs.
It was the second consecutive shutout for the Tigers against the Astros. They now have a Major League leading 11 shutouts. The Padres are second in the majors with 8. The second American League team is the Indians with 7. The Tigers are also lead the majors in ERA by a wide margin. Their 3.45 ERA is almost a half run better than the Padres. The second best AL team is the Athletics at 4.16.
The Tigers have now won 16 out of 18 but the White Sox also won again today so their lead in the AL Central is still 2 games. The Twins also won again today to remain 11 games back despite having won 15 out 16.
The AL continues to dominate the NL in interleague play. With a few games still to be decided tonight, The AL has a 119 to 71 lead. That's a .626 winning percentage for the AL. The leaading AL teams in interleague play are: