Monday, May 25, 2009

Verlander Cruises, Bats Wake Up

The Tigers crushed the Royals this Memorial Day afternoon 13-1 behind another strong performance by Justin Verlander and a 19 hit attack. Justin continued his domination of the American League this month with seven shutout innings, eight strikeouts and no walks. In has last six games, Justin has a 0.86 ERA and a 52/10 strikeout to walk ratio in 42 innings.

Verlander was a little more efficient today than he has been in some starts throwing 96 pitches, 66 of them for strikes. After throwing an average of 119 pitches in his last four starts, he was removed after less than 100 pitches today with a 9-0 lead. It was good to see Jim Leyland take him out a little early today, especially after seeing that 133 pitching out by Edwin Jackson last week.

The bats woke up today after being pretty much shut down by the Rockies over the weekend. They scored multiple runs every other inning - two in the first, two in the third, three in the fifth, two in the seventh and four in the ninth. The 19 hit explosion was highlighted by the following:
  • Miguel Cabrera - 4 hits including 2 doubles
  • Curtis Granderson - 3 hits, a double and a walk
  • Brandon Inge - 3 singles
There was a change in the batting order today as Leyland made the enevitable move of Clete Thomas from the third spot. After going 2 for 24 in recent games, Clete collected two hits in five at bats in the seventh spot today. Magglio Ordonez was inserted back into the third hole and got a single in four at bats plus a walk.

The Tigers increased their lead in the American League Central to four games with today's win. Game two of the series features the near unhittable Zack Greinke (0.82 ERA, a 73/12 K/BB ratio) versus Edwin Jackson (2.55, 48/16) tomorrow night.

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