Justin Verlander had an interesting outing tonight against the Royals and Danny Duffy. Justin started out losing his no-hitter on the first batter (which is not very common for Justin) Alex Gordon who laced a double down the line. Then Chris Getz did what all real #2 hitters should do (pay attention Leyland) and sac bunted Gordon to third. Then Verlander pitched around the Royals young stud 1st baseman Eric Hosmer. Seems somewhat wussy for the best pitcher in the league especially when done to pitch to Billy Butler who has a whopping .535 career slugging percentage against Verlander (mlb.com). The result was a Texas league single just out of the diving reach of Brennan Boesch down the line in shallow right field which easily scored Gordon. Verlander then proceeded to dominate the next 7.2 innings in the fashion we’ve grown accustomed to for the last few years. Then Verlander did what is becoming a somewhat alarming trend in attempting to close out his own game in the 9th inning and coming close to blowing it after actually blowing it in a nearly identical situation in his last start. It’s a difficult position for Leyland to be put into because Valverde has looked less than impressive in 3 out of 4 outings this season (which sucks for my fantasy team) and Justin just blew his own save 5 games ago(not to mention throwing 131 pitches in an April start)
On the offensive side, Austin Jackson continues his hot streak going 1 for 3 with a home run and a walk which puts his season OBP at .511 which would be even better if not for Alex Gordon’s fantastic diving catch. Jhonny Peralta also had three hits and was on base when Brandon Inge (Ugh) hit an absolute blast over the center field wall. Cabrera was hitless for the fourth straight game which is somewhat alarming and Fielder, Young, and Raburn (the 3rd-6th hitters for those not paying attention) were also without a hit tonight. It’ll be a tough season if we have to rely on our leadoff and #9 hitters for home runs especially since Leyland doesn’t allow his teams to “manufacture” runs by stealing and bunting (although he claims to love the NL style of game). Hopefully the middle of the order can pick it up, because while the Royals are an up and coming team, they’re not there yet. And as we found out against the White Sox last series (where we needed a home run from Gerald Laird to win a game) most teams won’t let you get away with this type of performance. It’ll still a win in the books and an overall decent game, but there are certainly things to be concerned about going forward for a team that’s among the favorites to make it to the World Series.
About the Author
Written by Brett Decker
I'm a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University with a degree in Social and Political Science. I love talking sports and welcome sports related tweets @decker_brett.