Anibal Sanchez again tonight did what the Tigers wanted from him when they traded top prospect Jacob Turner for him in late July.
Once again Sanchez put the Tigers in a position to win and they did. Sanchez pitched his best game since putting on a Tigers uniform with a complete game shutout of the Royals and a 2-0 win that tied the Tigers with the White Sox for the division lead.
Prince Fielder and Delmon Young provided first inning RBI singles to put the Tigers on top 2-0 and the score would remain that way. Despite the joyous win the Tigers did leave an alarming number of runners on base again but the pitching and defense held up for a victory.
In what was perhaps an audition for a $10 million plus per year contract from the Royals this off season Sanchez kept the Royals off balance all game with his mixture of off speed stuff and threw first pitch strikes to 2/3rds of the hitters and had 10 strike outs.
Starts like Sanchez had on Tuesday night and Doug Fister had on Saturday are key at this time of year as it keeps the stress off the bullpen and any day they can get an entire day off is a good day.
The Tigers have two more games against the Royals at home on Wednesday and Thursday with Rick Porcello and Doug Fister starting those games. They need to keep winning, with the White Sox in a tail spin, losing 6 of 7 games, they could take control of the division and have a bit of breathing room at the beginning of October instead of 3 stressful games.
For those of you keeping track, Miguel Cabrera’s triple crown hopes took a bit of a hit as he went 0-3 with a walk, snapping his 14 game hitting streak and falling back to the pack in the batting title race and not making up ground in the home run race.