If you haven’t been worried about Jose Veras now might be a good time to begin.
With the Tigers leading 3-0 going to the bottom of the 8th Veras took over for the Amazing Al. Jose lasted 1/3 of an inning and surrendered two runs on two hits and a walk. This forced The Puppet Master to ask Joaquin Benoit to get 5 outs and save the game.
Benoit got two outs to end the 8th but gave up a solo home run to Brian Dozier leading off the 9th. This was Benoit’s first blown save of the season but a lot of the blame has to fall on Veras.
That being said, it is a sad state of affairs for the offense that only managed 1 run against Twins starter, Mike Pelfrey, who had an ERA over 5.50 entering the game.
I’m very worried about Veras, and he has to take a lot of credit for this loss, but this game shouldn’t have been this close to begin with. I think the biggest problem is Austin Jackson. He managed 1 hit today but is 1 for his last 18.
JV was very good today. The only problem was his pitch count which forced him to exit after pitching 6 scoreless innings, during which he walked 3, and struke out 12. Verlander had only thrown 107 pitches after 6 so I was surprised he didn’t come out for the 7th. Instead, Smyly and Alburquerque came in to pitch the 7th.
Besides striking out 12 hitters JV was able to pitch out of a few jams without allowing any runs. The most impressive was the bottom of the 5th when Verlander allowed a lead off double to Alex Presley but managed to get out of the inning without allowing him to get any further. This type of pitching reminded me of the JV vintage 2011 and 2012. This was a very good sign.
The Amazing Al pitched very well tonight again. After Smyly started the 7th and allowed two singles, AA, was able to get Dozier, Willingham, and Pinto to end the inning and preserve the three run lead.
The magic number remains at 2 and I don’t think it’s a lock by any means. The Tigers have two more with the Twins but right now the season series is only Tigers 9 Twins 8. After Minnesota, the Tigers head to Miami where the team isn’t that great but they do have some starting pitching that could give a slumping offense problems.
God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural