Fernando Rodney gave up a 2 run homer to Billy Hall in the 8th inning tonight to blow a 2-1 lead and the Brewers held on to win 3-2. Mike Maroth allowed 9 hits and 4 walks but just 1 run in 7 innings. He was helped out by 3 double plays, some superb defense by Curtis Granderson and Neifi Perez, a caught stealing and his own pickoff.
Maroth received little offensive support tonight as the Tigers were held to 2 runs by emergency starter Carlos Villanueva (pitching in place of Chris Capuano who had a groin problem) and 5 relief pitchers. The Tigers scored a run in the 4th when Gary Sheffield doubled and Magglio Ordonez followed with a single. They took a 2-1 lead in the 7th on a single by Brandon Inge, a sacrifice by Perez and a single by Granderson. They had numerous other chances to score but hit into 2 double plays and left 8 men on base.
Tonight's game probably would have been a heart breaking loss on another night but tonight I was distracted by thoughts of last night's masterpiece by Justin Verlander. Yesterday, I mentioned that I was more impressed by his dominance than the fact that he pitched a no hitter. After reflecting on it some more, I'll say that it may have been the best game I have ever seen a pitcher pitch. I did see Roger Clemens strike out out 20 Tigers without a walk in a game in 1996 but the Rocket gave up 5 hits. It's hard to choose between those two games. I can state with confidence that it is the best game I've ever seen by a Tigers pitcher in all my many years following the team. That includes Jack Morris, Mark Fidrych and anybody else I can remember. That is how amazing he was last night.