Once again another disappointing series for the Detroit Tigers. The Seattle Mariners have been a thorn in the Tigers side this year. Coming into the series the Tigers were win less against the Seattle ball club. In a series that had the pitching that was good enough to be a sweep but the offense that just couldn’t get the job done.
Game one Doug Fister made his much anticipated return. Fister was nothing short of outstanding. Going seven strong innings and striking out four in a spectacular start. Blake Beavan was going strong through three innings until a Miguel Cabrera line drive hit him in the back. Forcing him to leave the game.
Even though Fister had only thrown 73 pitching going into the eighth inning Skipper Jim Leyland decided to take him out. Leaving the game to what has been a shaky bullpen. Phil Coke would come out and retire the side in the eighth on eight pitches. After a quick bottom of the eighth, Dotel would come on to try and lock down the game because Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit had the night off.
Dotel who has been solid most of the year, would have his worst outing of the year. Walking the first two batters he saw, then allowing a run on a wild pitch. Jesus Montero would double in a run and the game was tied and Dotel’s night was over. Duane Below would come on to try and hold the tie but the Mariners would win on a walk off hit. A game that went from outstanding to nightmare-ish in the matter of an out.
“I was throwing all my pitches well in the bullpen,” Dotel said. “Everything was good. Everything just wasn’t where I want to be. I came into the game, and I can’t find the strike zone.”
“I made up my mind I wasn’t going to pitch those two big boys down there,” Leyland said. “I wasn’t going to get greedy.”
In game two Justin Verlander would look to get the Tigers on a winning track. The Tigers would get the best of Kevin Millwood in the first two innings; scoring five runs. Verlander would have a good start but not the typical Verlander starts that we as Tiger fans have been spoiled with over the last few years. Going six innings, giving up three earned runs.
After a quick five runs in the first two innings the Tigers offense would be staggered by Kevin Millwood. Millwood would settle down and not surrender another run in his last three innings of work.
In the seventh inning Prince Fielder would go deep for the fifth time this year to give the Tigers a 6-3 lead. Phil Coke would then give the Mariners back the run in the bottom of the inning. Setting up another two run lead save for Jose Valverde.
In typical Valverde fashion he made it interesting. Walking three batters, loading the bases with two outs, until Don Kelly made a great playing falling into the stands to secure a 6-4 win for the Tigers.
“My team won,” closer Jose Valverde said. “That’s all I want.”
“We’re making it tough on ourselves,” manager Jim Leyland said, “but we got it.”
In game three the Tigers look to win their second straight series in a row and win back to back games for the first time since sweeping the Kansas City Royals. Drew Smyly, who holds the lowest ERA in the AL looked to continue his dominance. Jason Vargas, who has had the Tigers number this year hoped to continue his trend.
Smyly would once again impress. Going six outstanding one earned run innings. Vargas was also impressive only surrendering one run in his eight innings of work.
With both offenses being shutdown by the opposing starter it looked like it would be one of those games that it took that one hit. Sadly, the Mariners would get that hit. Luke Putkonen would give up a lead off double in the eighth inning and it would be up to Below to keep the game tied once again. Yet again the Mariners would get that one hit they needed giving them the lead and the win and the series victory.
“They beat us,” manager Jim Leyland said. “They had a winning record against us last year, and they beat us again this year. They beat us decisively, really.”
The Tigers hope to take the upcoming series from the Oakland A’s. Jim Leyland will send Max Scherzer(1-3) to face off against the ageless wonder Bartolo Colon(3-2) in game one. Game two Rick Porcello(3-2) looks to continue his good pitching. Tommy Milone(4-2) toes the rubber for the A’s. Game three Doug Fister(0-0) will look to get his first win of the year against Brandon McCarthy(2-3). Justin Verlander(3-1) will wrap up the series against the rookie Jarrod Parker(1-0).
News and Notes
- Andy Dirks has been on fire! .381/.409/.607 with two homers and 10 RBIs in his last seven games. But his hamstring is still keeping him out of the everyday lineup.
- Miguel Cabrera is hitting .189 on the road this year and was 0 for 12 in the series against Seattle.