Yankees 7, Tigers 0 (box score)
You always like your chances when Justin Verlander takes the mound, but the offense couldn’t muster any support on Sunday, and the bullpen didn’t keep them closer in the end.
Verlander was able to record the team’s first quality start, going 7.1 innings while allowing three runs, but a quality outing from a starter isn’t worth anything if you can’t offer even one run of offensive support.
The Tigers didn’t get a runner to second base until the fourth inning after Matt Tuiasosopo walked and Brayan Pena singled, and they didn’t get a runner over to third base until the eighth inning when Torii Hunter was able to go first-to-third on a Prince Fielder single. In neither instance were they able to get the run home. The Tigers mounted a mini-threat in the ninth when Omar Infante and Ramon Santiago both reached on singles, but Hunter struck out to end the game with runners on the corners.
Verlander’s only troublesome inning was the second. A Vernon Wells walk, a Francisco Cervelli double, and a Jayson Nix home run put three runs on the board. He settled down well enough and didn’t allow another run, but the Tigers wouldn’t bounce back. Phil Coke came on to finish the eighth after Verlander left with one out, but he wasn’t effective. A single, double, sac fly, and a single tacked on two more runs for the Yanks. Octavio Dotel came on for the ninth and allowed two more runs.
- Matt Tuiasosopo had two singles and a walk in his four plate appearances. He was really the only one that could do anything off of CC Sabathia.
- I don’t think the bullpen is really this bad, but they’re not making Jim Leyland‘s life very easy.
- The non-everyday players in the lineup (Tuiasosopo, Pena, and Santiago) combined for a .364/.417/.364 slash line. Resting the regulars wasn’t the problem.
- A sweep would have been nice — it would have put the Tigers at 4-2 and made amends for dropping the series in Minnesota — but two out of three is always the goal, and they did that.
- There was no immediate word on whether or not Dotel blamed lack of vocal leadership for the day’s struggles.
The Tigers get Toronto next. They were supposed to be a heavy hitter in the AL East but are off to a 2-4 start. They were pounded 13-0 by Boston on Sunday.