Arlington, Texas —- It had all the right hype, it was supposed to be must watch television but with all of the hype it just turn out to be – a great big mess.
Thursday night, the Detroit Tigers opened up a four-game series against the Texas Rangers, a battle between two first place baseball teams in the huge state of Texas and at the Rangers Ballpark.
The Texas Rangers defeated the Tigers 10-4 and starting out on the mound for the Rangers Yu Darvish and for the Tigers Justin Verlander.
A battle of pitching aces!
What started out as a night to remember turned out to be a night in which Verlander and Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland would like to forget.
Verlander gave up seven runs in the third inning before Leyland had no other choice but go to Tigers’ bullpen for relief help and replace Verlander on the mound.
The most runs given up by Verlander in just one inning, his ERA jumped from a eye-popping 1.93 to a head-shaking in disbelief 3.17, he labored for 2.2 innings throwing 70 pitches for the Tigers, giving up six hits, walking three and striking out two.
Thursday night’s outing is Verlander second shortest starts in his career, he only lasted two innings against the New York Mets back in June 22, 2012.
“I can tell things are a bit off, I know what I need to do. It’s just a matter of doing it,” Verlander said after the game. “It’s going to be the matter of working it out in the bullpen, repeating pitches and carrying it over into the game.”
“It wasn’t much of a night to begin with but I’d definitely say the whole game kind of carry-over from last start,” Verlander said talking about his last start at home against the Cleveland Indians. “I’m not somebody who is going home and pout about this, I’m somebody who is going to figure it out and figure it out in a hurry.”
Leyland is not worried about Verlander, he still believes in his ace and that everybody just need to relax.
“They can wonder, that is understandable,” Leyland said. “I’m not worried about him though, his stuff is there. The positive is that I won’t be asked about his velocity, he hit 99 tonight.”
That is 99 mile per hour and not 99 hit by a pitch batters or 99 hits.
It looked like the Tigers could get to Darvish early in the game the Tigers had him on the ropes ready to deliver the knockout punch but Darvish rope-a-dope the Tigers.
Darvish threw 130 pitches for the Rangers and Texas manager Ron Washington watched his ace settle down and retire 15 of the final 16 Tigers that he faced.
“The thing about Yu Darvish, he bends but he never breaks,” Washington said. “That’s a tremendous lineup he went through. After that third inning, he settled in and found something that was working and he continued to pitch.”
Darvish found out that the Tigers can hit the fast ball a long way but what the Tigers have trouble with is a good slider and a change-up, pitches like that will make the Tigers’ batters get too impatient and start to lose focus in the batter’s box.
Darvish won his seventh game of the season by working eight innings, giving up seven hits and walking one Tiger batter and six Tigers batters were strikeouts.
“Wash asked me if I could go longer and he seemed like he wanted to go a little bit longer,” Darvish said. “And I felt really good so I wanted to go. The bullpen guys were pretty used up last series so I wanted to go.”
The first game of the series in Texas ended up as a mess but the beauty of baseball is that the next day it is a fresh start and you can forget the last game.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.