Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Verlander, Sheffield Lead Tigers Over Rangers

Justin Verlander allowed just 1 run in 7 innings as the Tigers topped the Rangers 5-1 to win their 3 game series with the Rangers. Gary Sheffield provided all the offense Verlander needed with a 2 run homer in the first inning. It was the first homer since August first for the slumping and injury riddled designated hitter. Magglio Ordonez added a 3 run homer in the 6th and is now batting .358 after a 1 for 3 night.

After a summer slump which raised his ERA to 3.95, Justin Verlander has bounced back with 4 consecutive strong games to lower his ERA to 3.47. As the table below shows, JV has allowed just 3 runs in 28 2/3 innings (a 0.94 ERA) and has a 26/6 strikeout/walk ratio over his last 4 starts. The surge has certainly put to rest concerns about a tired arm.

Table: Justin Verlander's Last 4 Starts

Date

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

8/27

7

3

0

0

2

6

9/1

6 2/3

6

1

1

3

10

9/7

8

7

1

1

0

3

9/12

7

7

1

1

1

7

Total

28 2/3

23

3

3

6

26


Joel Zumaya pitched for the first time since he ripped a finger nail and was perfect in the 8th inning. Todd Jones closed out the game by striking out the side. Yes, the roller coaster struck out the side for the first time in 2 years.

The Yankees will likely maintain their 4 game lead in the wild card race as they lead the Blue Jays 4-3 in the 9th. The Tigers did pick up a game on the Indians who lost to the White Sox today. Detroit is now 5 1/2 games behind the division leaders. Next up are the Twins for a 3 game series in the Metrodome starting on Friday.

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