The Good: Last year the Tigers got their fourth win over Cleveland on September 28th. This year it only took them until May 2nd to notch win number four over the Tribe. The Tigers have now gone 4-1 against Cleveland; they took 2 of 3 from their arch rivals in Cleveland earlier in April.
Also Good? The…the bullpen! The Tigers’ beleaguered ‘pen has put up 9 consecutive scoreless innings over their last 3 games. And it hasn’t just been Justin and Alex Wilson carrying the load either. K-Rod’s gotten into the action, though his save last night was a little hairy, as well as Blaine Hardy and—get this!—Anibal Sanchez. Everything’s clicking right now. *knocks on wood*
Also Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer after coming off the 10-day DL. So, yeah. That was a pretty Good thing as well. Cabrera did leave the game in the eighth when his groin tightened due to the cold, but it doesn’t seem serious.
The Bad: Justin Verlander walked 4 so I guess that was bad (though he was good, overall). His location was much better against Cleveland tonight than in his previous start against them. He also got them to chase pitches high in the strikezone that they weren’t chasing in his April 14th start in Cleveland.
Bullet Points Are For Lazy People:
• Alex Avila got another start against a righty, although the Tigers have no plans to go to a platoon to get Avila more playing time. James McCann, while he is scuffling mightily, is still the primary catcher. Could Avila perhaps change Ausmus’ mind if he continues to hit?
• K-Rod got the first two batters of the ninth fairly easily, before giving up an opposite field double to Yan Gomes and a walk to Carlos Santana. With the ever-dangerous Francisco Lindor representing the tying run, the wily veteran got Cleveland’s star shortstop to pop up to end the game.
• Justin Wilson just continues to mow down the opposition. After a blip against the White Sox the other day, Wilson was back to his old tricks against Cleveland. The hard-throwing lefty struck out two, allowing a hit and a walk. He’s sporting a 14.66 K/9 (!!!) for the season.
• Speaking of relievers with big fastballs… Believeland’s Cody Allen has an 18.00 K/9 over 10 innings. He’s struck out HALF OF THE 40 BATTERS HE’S FACED, WTF.
• Although Tyler Collins went 0-for-4 he continued to have good swings. He seems like a different player now. Read all about it here.
• Andrew Romine went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk. He scored Alex Avila in the second with a double off Corey Kluber. Romine continues to provide some value off the bench as he spelled José Iglesias (who came in to play short when Cabrera exited and Romine took over at first).
• About Cy Kluber: Cleveland’s ace was not himself from the get-go and came out of the game in the third, having thrown only 55 pitches. Turns out he was dealing with a stiff back that was exacerbated by the cold weather.