The Tigers looked like a playoff team last night, beating the New York Yankees 7-2 to win their fifth straight.
Justin Verlander showed why he is the best pitcher in baseball and the reigning AL MVP, Miggy and Prince hit early solo ding dongs, and the bottom of the order contributed as well.
Verlander pitched eight innings and tied his career high in strikeouts with 14. After a lead off walk to start the eighth, he struck out the next three to get to 14 and end his night. If JV hadn’t committed his third error of the year, he would have kept the Yankees off the board.
With two outs in the fifth he went to cover first base while Fielder grabbed a grounder from Curtis Granderson. Fielder’s throw surprised Verlander, or he took his eye off it to find the bag, either way the ball was dropped and the Yankees were still alive. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano made him pay, both hitting RBI singles to tie the game at 2.
The Tigers came back in the bottom of the inning with five straight singles and RBIs from Infante, Jackson, and Dirks. Then in the sixth they scored two more off of four more singles and RBIs from Peralta and Avila. With Verlander cruising the game was out of reach for New York.
As much fun as it is watching JV dominate and Cabrera and Fielder play long ball, the highlight of the game for me was watching the bottom of the lineup contribute. Delmon Young, Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta, and Omar Infante were a combined 7 for 14, with 4 runs, and 3 RBI. Young even took a walk, something he’s been doing a little more lately.
As we all know, if these guys along with Brennan Boesch can consistently contribute, the Tigers are a dangerous team. Let’s hope they can.
Rick Porcello can help the Tigs continue their winning ways tonight against Phil Hughes.