Justin Verlander had shown great stuff through the first four games this year. He had excellent velocity, great movement and a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 21 innings. At times, he looked absolutely dominant but it never lasted for a full game. Every time he got into a jam he would get hit hard. He came into tonight's game with a league low by far 39.6% Left On Base Percentage. (Billfer did an analysis of Verlander's pitches from the windup versus from the stretch). The result was a lot of frustration and a pitiful 9.00 ERA.
Today, Justin had the good stuff for seven shutout innings before yielding to Bobby Seay after to singles leading off the eighth. He struck out nine and walked none giving him a 34/9 ratio in 28 innings for the season. Bobby Seay got him out off the hook by retiring the Yankees one two three and has now gone 10 games and 7 1/3 innings without allowing a run or a walk. Fernando Rodney then did his best Todd Jones imitation allowing the first three Yankees to get hits before settling down to finish off a 4-2 victory. He got some help from a nifty double play turned by Brandon Inge and Placido Polanco.
The Yankees CC Sabathia was pretty good too allowing six hits and no walks in eight innings. However, as other teams had done against Verlander prior to tonight, the Tigers were able to bunch their hits and score four runs. Placido Polanco was in the middle of both rallies getting doubles in both the one one run first and the three run sixth. Magglio Ordonez capped the sixth inning rally with a two run blast, his second of the year.