In the bottom of the 7th inning, shortly after taking the lead, Max Scherzer hit royals catcher Humberto Quintero on the left elbow with a 90 mph fastball. Qunitero appeared to not be a fan of being used for target practice and showed it by throwing his bat down in frustration. As the bat was thrown down rather hard it bounced and seemingly struck Tigers catcher Gerald Laird (although it didn’t look as though it his very hard) in the ankle. Laird took exception to being used as a baseball by Quintero’s bat and said as much to Quintero. This prompted a rather heated exchange between the two catchers that resulted in not only the benches clearing, but the bullpens as well. No punches were thrown and most of the players seemed more interested in keeping a fight from happening than starting one, which isn’t always the case in these situations. Thankfully both teams settled down, Quintero took his base, Scherzer was replaced by Phil Coke, and the game continued without issue.
Max Scherzer had a much better start today than either of his last two outings. Other than a pitch he left too high and not far enough outside which Alcides Escobar crushed over the fence after a walk to Mitch Maier and the pitch that plunked Quintero, Scherzer showed pretty good control and command. He only struck out 3 batters, which is just a few shy of the 11 he struck out last game, but with a much better result than against the White Sox. The RBI allowed to Quintero was a piece of just plain good hitting on a pitch that was placed where Laird wanted it and Humberto squared up and sent to the gap in left center field. This is the type of pitcher the Tigers need him to be and preferably more consistently than he’s showed in the past. The bullpen looked pretty good after Scherzer’s departure although there was some concern after Joaquin Benoit walled Butler and Betancourt, but eventually got Francoeur to ground into a double play to end the inning. Coke got three pop outs in his inning and Valverde got a great 5-3 double play from Miguel Cabrera to end the game after walking Quintero. All in all the pitching did what it needed to keep the game close enough for Fielder, and Peralta to score Cabrera and Raburn with Laird scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game. This was shortly followed by fielder beating the KC defensive shift (again) and knocking Cabrera in for the second time. Jackson had his second consecutive game without getting on base, Boesch was ineffective in his 5 at bats, and (surprise, surprise) Inge was also hitless. Hopefully the middle of the lineup can keep it up against the AL champion Rangers and their high scoring lineup and hard throwing pitchers. Hopefully the Tigers can avoid leaving 42 runners on base like they did in the series against the Royals. If they can get a few more timely hits and pitch nearly as well then they should be able to at least split the 4 game series with Texas.
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.