The Detroit Tigers met the Washington Nationals this afternoon for the second of five Grapefruit League games between the teams.They trounced the Nats offensively on Friday, and beat them in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel today. Justin Verlander took the mound for the Tigers with an impressive five innings pitched, one hit, no earned runs, one walk(protested loudly from the mound with an expletive from Verlander) and four strikeouts. He looked every bit the former Cy Young winner that he is, pitching angrily and passionately, but with control. It’s notable that Verlander was scheduled for 65 pitches this afternoon, but was so on that he was given the handshake after only 49 when he finished the fifth. Brad Ausmus and Jeff Jones did not want Verlander sitting through another half inning before throwing his remaining pitches, so he was instructed to throw 15 more in the pen. He threw 16. Pitching was definitely the story of the day for both squads, with Jordan Zimmerman holding Detroit to one run and four hits through his four innings pitched.
- Evan Reed gave up a walk in the sixth, that runner stole second and then scored on a passed ball by Bryan Holladay, tying the game.
- Phil Coke continued to progress, giving up a hit and striking out a batter in the seventh.
- Bruce Rondon looked comfortable and had excellent control of his secondary pitches. He gave up a hit to the first batter he faced and then took the next three down in order, the last coming by way of the K.
- Rajai Davis, Ian Kinsler, Bryan Holaday, and Danny Worth all successfully stole a base today. Steve Lombardozzi stole two.
- Worth and Don Kelly each picked up an RBI, and Davis and Lombardozzi crossed the plate for the Tigers.
The Tigers play, who else, the Washington Nationals tomorrow at 1:05pm at Joker Marchant Stadium.