This game was on national television, mainly because a Cy Young Award winner was pitching against a perennial All-Star. Neither pitcher put on a dominating performance, but they were both good enough to keep their respective teams in the game. Sale outlasted Verlander, as he pitched seven innings while Verlander only pitched five. I was surprised to see Sale come out for the seventh with 100 pitches already thrown, but it only took him like 9 pitches to get through the seventh and lessen the workload for the bullpen. The southpaw struck out seven Tigers all while never walking a single batter. The Tigers scored all their runs in the fifth and sixth, and although he got scored on, Sale really didn’t get hit hard Saturday night. The bullpen did their job once again. Matt Barnes got the Tigers in order in the eighth, and Blaine Boyer got them in order in the ninth. It looked like Craig Kimbrel was going to come in for a save opportunity, but the Red Sox blew the doors open in their half of the eighth. Last note on the pitching pertains to Chris Sale. It looks like he is evening out quite a bit numbers wise. His first few starts were borderline dominant, while the rest have been good, but not great.
Before I start talking about the offense, I just want to say that the Tigers bullpen is downright awful. I mean, I like Alex Wilson (former Red Sox prospect) and KRod, but that group of guys can’t seem to keep a game close.
Anyway, Mitch Moreland was the hero once again, as the veteran first baseman drove in the two go-ahead runs on a double in the seventh. He also drove in the second run of the game in the third on a single that scored Sandy Leon. Moreland was not the only guy in the lineup with multiple RBI’s, Andrew Benintendi drove in three, and Josh Rutledge drove in two. The only batter who did not get a hit last night was Mookie Betts, and he walked three times. It’s funny how this team still lacks power but they can score plenty of runs in different ways.
33 down, ? to go.