JV was OK in his start tonight against the Cleveland Indians. In what is becoming a pattern, he gave up 3 earned in 7 innings. The rough inning was the 5th when the Indians got two infield hits and a Texas Leaguer to load the basis.
The first run was driven in on a hard single to left by Michael Bourn on an 0-2 pitch. I really have to question the pitch selection. From the third base side it looked like a 96 MPH fastball that obviously caught too much of the plate. I guess I’m not sure why he threw Bourn an 0-2 fastball.
The damage could have been limited to 2 runs but a fly ball off the bat of Jason Kipnis went off the heal of Torii Hunter’s glove in right scoring two runs. I thought Hunter should have been given an error on the play but what do I know. JV got Swisher and Brantley to fly out to end the inning.
This is just an observation or suggestion. I don’t understand why JV and other Tiger pitchers allow batters to hang over the plate and foul two strike pitches off. It is absolutely maddening. It drives the pitch count up and gives the hitter the advantage. Why not throw inside and move them off of the plate especially with less than a 3 ball count? For example, in the 6th Mark Reynolds worked Verlander for a 9 pitch at bat. Reynolds fouled off 3 pitches with the count full and eventually lined a single. Even with a full count, after Reynolds fouled off the second pitch, JV should have buzzed him hard inside. I’m not saying to hurt the guy but I would argue that lighting up his ribs with a 90 MPH fast ball would have moved him and the rest of the Indians off of the plate and he would have been no worse off. Reynolds would still be on first but I bet he wouldn’t be leaning over the plate fouling off pitches the next time at bat.
“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural