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04-07-2007, 12:30 AM #1
Verlander solid, but Tigers fall vs. KC
Verlander solid, but Tigers fall vs. KC
04-07-2007, 09:54 AM #2
I wouldn't say strong, exactly. He had those five walks in two innings, which is pretty shaky. He's got enough stuff to work around that when it happens, but my concern is that when you have walking jags like that, it might be an indication of arm weakness -- particularly since he was missing the zone by so much during that period.
04-07-2007, 10:48 AM #3
Given his velocity was high and the fact that he didn't seem to tire I am willing to chalk up the control issues to cold weather and not wanting to lean on his fastball all night.
Last edited by estrepe1; 04-07-2007 at 11:03 AM."I don't believe a manager ever won a pennant. Casey Stengel won all those pennants with the Yankees. How many did he win with the Boston Braves and Mets? I've never seen a team win a pennant without players. I think the only thing the manager has to do is keep things within certain boundaries."
04-07-2007, 11:14 AM #4
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That's a pretty good point. He has some pretty good control of the fastball for the most part.Up above, aliens hover, making home movies for the folks back home.
04-07-2007, 11:35 AM #5
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And Jorge De la Rosa was throwing nothing but fastballs too. Wait until it gets warm enough for Verlander to get a good grip on the offspeed pitches before we start talking about his arm being tired or his control fading away.
His fastball was in the 100s a few times last night, so I doubt he's hitting that if his arm is tired.
04-07-2007, 11:52 AM #6Released
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the last half of last season and through spring training verlander had been walking more hitters then i would like. i'm kinda glad the tigers stumbled a little bit out of the gate. now espn will go back to hanging off the teets of the red soxs and yankees, and the tigers will get lost in the shuffle and be able to play under less pressure.
04-07-2007, 12:02 PM #7
If you clicked on the link, this is what it would say ...
KANSAS CITY -- Remember when the Tigers won 15 out of 16 against the Royals last year? The Tigers aren't trying to think about that, either.
On a night when Justin Verlander showed the award-winning form that American League hitters remember, the Royals matched him before giving Jose Mesa a Tigers debut he might rather forget. After Verlander and Jorge De La Rosa dueled to a tie score through six innings, Kansas City used three straight hits -- including a wind-blown fly-ball RBI single -- to plate two runs in the seventh and hand Detroit a 3-1 loss Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
It was the first loss for the Tigers in Kansas City since 2005, and it came after manager Jim Leyland warned that the Royals shouldn't be the team everyone else forgets in the AL Central.
"They're going to be good," Leyland said Friday afternoon, "and that's going to be good for the division. The more good teams you've got in the division, the more you beat each other up, and the less you give somebody a chance of running away [with the title]."
The Royals already did that last year, keeping the Tigers from taking the Central by sweeping their season-ending three-game series at Comerica Park. Friday's loss was the Tigers' fourth straight to the Royals since clinching their first playoff spot in 19 years here with a week to go last season.
This one, of course, had far less implications. If anything, Verlander's performance alone ended up giving Leyland something to feel warm about.
Verlander drew attention for his off-and-on struggles during Spring Training, trying to feel comfortable on the mound again before throwing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts in his spring finale. He was less efficient in his regular-season debut, walking five batters in six innings, but he largely managed to escape the trouble he created with the nasty combination of a lively fastball and a game-time temperature of 35 degrees.
"In some ways, it's a tough night to pitch," Leyland said. "But in some ways, it's a good night to pitch."
It was a good night for watching the radar gun. Verlander hit triple digits at least four times on the stadium reading, topping out twice at 101 mph. After tiring down the stretch last season -- usually throwing around the mid-90s -- the extra velocity seemed like a long-lost friend to which Verlander could turn for a hand.
"It's fun knowing you have some juice back in there," Verlander said.
David DeJesus' double and Magglio Ordonez's error leading off the bottom of the first inning set up a lone unearned run against Verlander, who didn't allow a hit after Tony Pena Jr.'s one-out double in the third. Verlander walked five of 11 batters he faced in the fourth and fifth innings, but he used two key strikeouts to escape damage.
Verlander walked the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth, a quagmire Leyland attributed in part to trying to pitch for the strikeout. He got the third strike he needed with back-to-back fastballs on Mike Sweeney, the latter at 97 mph on the outside corner for a call to end the inning.
An inning earlier, after retiring nine in a row, Verlander had walked Sweeney and Mark Teahen back-to-back to lead off the fourth. He used 98 mph fastballs to set up back-to-back changeups that sent Ryan Shealy down swinging for the second out. Then he jammed Ross Gload at 97 mph for a first-pitch fielder's choice groundout.
"He definitely had enough for his first outing," Leyland said. "He gave us a chance to win the game."
The Royals could say the same for De La Rosa, facing the Tigers for the first time in his career.
Verlander actually threw more strikes in fewer pitches than De La Rosa (1-0), who walked three batters and allowed four hits over seven innings Friday. However, De La Rosa allowed just two runners in scoring position, and Detroit's lone run came without benefit of a base hit. Carlos Guillen and Sean Casey drew back-to-back one-out walks in the second, before Guillen stole third base and scored on Monroe's sacrifice fly.
Monroe was thinking sacrifice fly later in the game, too, but it was in the field. That's where the elements came into play.
Once Verlander left, the game-deciding rally came from the bottom of Kansas City's order. Jason LaRue doubled off Mesa (0-1) to the fence in right-center field -- leading off the bottom of the seventh -- and scored when Pena poked an opposite-field triple into the right-field corner.
DeJesus followed with a high fly ball into shallow left field. Monroe seemingly camped behind it and was readying to charge under it for a throw should Pena try to score. However, the ball never got to him, dropping for a single when a gust of wind seemingly knocked it down.
"I think it fooled [Monroe] off the bat," Leyland said. "I think he thought it was hit a little better to start with. It looked like it kind of fooled him, but then the wind just brought it back -- way in. I don't think the wind fooled him; I think the swing fooled him."
Said Monroe: "I'm not thinking that ball's going to get to its highest point and then go straight down. Give me a little warning or something. It's just one of those things, one of those days."
That's how the Tigers are approaching these games in the elements, though Leyland warned that it's not an excuse since both teams have to deal with them. Bone-chilling cold postponed Verlander's start from Thursday, when he would've faced the Blue Jays with a chance to take the season-opening series. Mesa had to wait through a two-game suspension for his first outing and looked less than hot in his return.
He had company.
"I think both teams were probably freezing their [tails] off," Leyland said, "and both teams went at it good. They got a couple quick runs late in the game and that was it."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
04-07-2007, 01:18 PM #8
Would u rather have Verlander give in and give up Hr's/Hits/Doubles, or give up the walks's with the stuff to get out of it? Seems to me he was avoiding what got him in trouble last year when his breaking stuff wasn't working. He would just fire a fastball down the heart of the plate. Not tat he was intentionally walking, but that he was perhaps being a bit more strategic with that in mind.
I think this is what was crossing his mind a bit. Plus he looked to be squeezed on a few of those, and some were not that far off. Sure a few were, but come on when u throw 100 in 30 degree weather, in your first outing of the year, I don't care who you are your going to have some wildness.2009 Adopt-A-Tiger: Jade Todd
04-07-2007, 01:23 PM #9
Interesting points about this game:
- The Royals drew 6 walks, but none contributed to a run scored.
- The Tigers had 5 hits, but none contributed to a run scored.