Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Verlander is Human

In the last nine games prior to tonight's game, Justin Verlander had an ERA of 1.10 and 81 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings. Tonight, he did not look right out of the gate. It was quickly apparent that Justin didn't have the same stuff and command he had shown over the last seven weeks. He almost managed to get out of a tough first inning after loading the bases on a double, a walk and a single but couldn't get the final strike. After fouling off several two strike pitches, Yadier Molina blooped a double to right to score two runs. A balk and a double followed and the Tigers were down 4-0 after one inning. The Tigers ace was removed from the game after allowing four runs on eight hits in four innings. The only good thing is that, by leaving after 73 pitches, he got somewhat of a rest tonight.

You knew there was not much hope after the first inning with the anemic Tigers offense facing a good pitcher in Adam Wainwright. They got two solo homers from Brandon Inge and Miguel Cabrera but were overmatched for the most part. Frankly, they looked pretty lethargic tonight and the final score was 11-2 Cardinals. The Bengals have now gone six straight games without scoring more than three runs.

Getting back to the pitching, Nate Robertson pitched to four batters in the fifth and retired none of them. It appears as if Dontrelle Willis is on the verge of being released or sent back to the minors and with an ERA pushing 8.00, you have to wonder if Robertson may be next. The lone bright spot was Brandon Lyon who pitched two perfect innings to finish the game.

It will be Edwin Jackson versus Todd Wellemeyer on Wednesday. The Tigers really need their other ace to be a stopper tomorrow night.

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