I'm getting spoiled. Justin Verlander struck out 8, allowed only 1 run on 3 hits, and yet I think he still could have done better. However I don't think I'm out of line believing that the bullpen was not as good as it could have been. Brandon Lyon and Joel Zumaya allowed Texas to chip away at the lead. It did not matter, because Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect 9th to clinch the Tigers 5th win in a row.
Anyone else think Ryan Raburn might be getting a "random" test soon? He went deep yesterday. Joining him in the Shrubbery Club, was Wilkin Ramirez getting his 1st MLB home run on his first MLB hit,and Clete Thomas this afternoon. Matt Joyce who?
Speaking of Matt Joyce, that guy we got for him took the mound today. Edwin Jackson was a little wild today with 5 walks. He got into a jam in the 8th and watched his lead evaporate as Nelson Cruz tied the game with a double with Jackson one strike away from ending the inning. An uncontested steal, and a walk later Edwin Jackson was facing runners at the corners and 128 on the pitch count. Jim Leyland left him out there, as to say "you got yourself into this mess, fix it.", and 4 pitches later he had his 7th strikeout and chance for his offense to get him the win.
Kevin Millwood was in that same situation with 2 on in the bottom of the 8th. Ron Washington stuck with his ace. Unfortunately for Millwood, he needed to get Miguel Cabrera out. Cabrera took the first pitch he saw to centerfield and the Tigers had the lead, and Jackson was in line for the win, it was Rodneytime. Obviously felling bored, after retiring 16 straight batter, Fernando decided to kick it up a notch. He allowed the tying run 90 feet from home, and the go-ahead run on first. Rodney got Michael Young to hit the groundball, and Placido Polanco and Adam Everett did their thing to turn the 4-6-3 double play and give the Tigers the sweep and their 6th win in a row.
And in come the strug-gel-ing Colorado Rockies. They're tied for the worst record in the major leagues, they dropped 2 of 3 to the Pittsburgh Pirates last weekend, and are coming off of getting curb-stomped the past two days by the Atlanta Braves (23rd in the Majors in runs scored). Oh yeah then there's This Guy coming back to a bullpen near you. Should be a fun weekend...and you better get a win Armando
Tigers 5 Rangers 3
W: Verlander (4-2)
L: Harrison (4-3)
S: Rodney (7)
Tigers 4 Rangers 3
W: Jackson (4-2)
L: Millwood (4-4)
S: Rodney (8)
W - L
23 - 16
1st Place AL Central (3 Games ahead of Kansas City)