26 June 2011
Considering the Tigers may have the best pitcher and best hitter in the game in Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, it seems odd that they started the series a game behind the Cleveland Indians. Both of those men would play a part in the outcome of the two Tigers’ wins, and both showed why they make Major League Baseball their playground. But the rules say that other people wearing that Old English D have to play as well, so how would the Arizona Diamondbacks fare against Verlander, Cabrera, and the rest of the Detroit Tigers? Read the recaps below.
Friday- Game 1 vs. Detroit: Zach Duke vs. Phil Coke: In a game that was not expected to be a pitchers’ duel…it wasn’t; neither pitcher completed six innings. Let’s start with Duke. In the 2nd, Jhonny Peralta doubled in a run, then in the 3rd, it was Magglio Ordonez who doubled in another. After walking Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez singled to knock in Ordonez. Casper Wells added a two run homer in the 4th. Now for Coke. With his team up 4-0, he allowed 3 runs in the 4th: a Stephen Drew sac fly, then back to back singles by Xavier Nady and Wily Mo Pena. In the 5th, Nady singled in two more. That was the end of Coke’s night, but a Ryan Perry wild pitch was able to score another D'Back run that inning. After that the game calmed down, turning into a very good battle of the bullpens. Rookie Bryan Shaw pitched two solid innings for the D’Backs, then handed the 7th to Esmerling Vazquez, who quickly got through that. Then in the 8th, the NL designated hitter came up big. Very big. With reliever David Purcey pitching, Pena got a fastball, and launched it deep into the night sky, landing an estimated 454 feet away from plate, the longest home run ever at Comerica Park by a visiting player. That was all David Hernandez and J.J. Putz needed, taking it from there and aiding the D’Backs to a 7-6 win.
W: Vazquez (1-1)
L: Purcey (1-1)
S: Putz (21)
POTG: His mammoth blast untied the game, and the D’Backs went on to win, Wily Mo Pena 2-4, HR, 2RBI.
Saturday- Game 2 vs. Detroit: Josh Collmenter (4-3) vs. Justin Verlander (9-3): The opening segment of ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” started with saying they should call it “Verlander Tonight.” And the way he pitched it’s hard to blame them. It never really had the feeling that the Diamondbacks were going to win, and by the 8th inning, it seemed like they were just hoping not to get shut out. But they did, for only the 2nd time this year. Verlander was so dominant that it wasn’t even fair for Collmenter. He didn’t help his chances though. In his homecoming, with what appeared to be the entire city of Homer in the stands, he pitched to the tune of 6 innings and 6 earned runs. Verlander knots up the series at a game each with a 6-0 win.
W: Verlander: (10-3)
L: Collmenter: (4-4)
POTG: 8IP, 0R, 4H, BB, and a career high 14K, the best pitcher in all of baseball: Justin Verlander.
Sunday- Game 3 vs. Detroit: Joes Saunders vs. Brad Penny: The D’Backs starter pitches a quality start, the offense is able to squeak in enough runs to get the win, then the bullpen melts down horrifically late in the game. Welcome back 2010. Over Joe Saunders’ last 8 starts (including today), he is 4-2 with an ERA of an even 3.00. Today he went 7 innings, allowed 1 earned run, struck out 8 (1 shy of his career high), and left the game with a 2-1 lead. His only mistake was a solo home run off the bat of Jhonny Peralta in the 2nd. He was rewarded for his efforts by his offense, when a Chris Young double was followed by three singles in the inning. Then the game turned into a circus. In the bottom of the 8th, Aaron Heilman allowed a Don Kelly single, then walked Casper Wells and gave way to David Hernandez. He immediately walked Magglio Ordonez to load the bases. Enter Miguel Cabrera. Hernandez fell behind, and the perennial MVOP candidate made him pay; a two run single to score two and give the Tigers the lead. Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta singled, ending Hernandez’s day without him getting an out. Bryan Shaw entered, the next three batters reached, and just like that the Tigers had put up a 7 spot in the 8th. Justin Upton knocked in a run in the 9th, but that was it, and that was the game. 8-3, Tigers win the game and the series.
W: Albuquerque (5-1)
L: Heilman (4-1)
POTG: Jhonny Peralta had 3H and 3RBI, but Miguel Cabrera, the best hitter in all of baseball game up big in the clutch with the game clincher in the 8th. Cabrera: 2-4, 2RBI, and a run.
Next up for the Diamondbacks is a 3-Game series at home against the Indians, and 3 more games of Inter-League at Oakland.