Kansas City 0, Detroit 1 (box)
Jarrod Washburn hadn’t been all that good since coming to Detroit. The left hander was 8-6 with a 2.62 ERA at the time of the trade that brought him from Seattle, but had struggled mightily in his two starts since then. And he was going to face Zack Greinke.
The same Greinke that has two wins in three starts and easily could have won the third against Detroit this season. The same Greinke who has twice shut out the Tigers this year. As good as Greinke has been against all of baseball, against Detroit he has been better. His 2.43 ERA leads the league, but he had allowed just four earned runs in 24 innings against the Tigers, his WHIP versus Detroit was a measly 0.79.
Neither disappointed last night.
Washburn pitched through the eighth, Greinke worked seven. Both starters allowed just three hits. Washburn walked two, Greinke walked four. Washburn yielded three singles, Greinke allowed two singles and a double. Neither team collected a hit with RISP, but went just 0 for six combined. The Royals didn’t get a runner to second base until the eighth, the only inning in which they had multiple baserunners.
When the two stalwarts had finished their evenings, the rest of the game, in all its scoreless glory, would be left to the bullpens. Greinke done after 108 pitches, Washburn after 107. Greinke had done what he has been doing all year, and for the first time since the trade, so did Washburn.
Enter Roman Colon and Brandon Lyon. These two right handers would decide the game now. Colon breezed through a scoreless eighth, while Lyon (6-4) retired the side in the top of the ninth. Colon (1-2) fanned Marcus Thames to lead off the bottom of the ninth, but left a fastball up and over the plate to Brandon Inge.
Apparently, Inge is a close personal friend of Jason Karnuth, and he exacted sweet revenge against Colon. Inge hit a towering fly ball deep to left center field. For a while it appeared the ball would be a long out, but eventually David DeJesus ran out of room, and the ball ended up bouncing off the bullpen roof to win the epic duel for the Tigers and cap a wonderful evening for baseball.
- Greinke– His efforts this year should not be overlooked. His 11-7 record might preclude him from winning a Cy Young award this year, but nearly every time he has taken the hill, he has been fantastic. Last night was no exception.
- Washburn– Eight scoreless frames against Greinke provided precisely the outing the Tigers needed. This is the guy the Tigers thought they were getting when they made the trade.
- The Tigers Arms– Two consecutive shutouts for Detroit has helped them win two games while scoring all of three runs in the process.
- Mario Impemba– in the eighth, FSD’s play-by-play man noted Brandon Lyon and Bobby Seay warming, and much to the delight of any Tiger fan, he melded them into one; “SeayLyon warming up”.
- Curtis Granderson– Grandy walked, singled and doubled. His double was the only extra base hit of the ballgame until…
- Brandon Inge– Inge’s walk-off blast was his fourth career walk-off homer. That stat amazed me.
- Clete Thomas– On a night when no one hit, it’s tough to single out one player, but Clete’s 0 for 4 included fanning in his three at bats versus Greinke. Greinke was tremendous all night, but no one struggled with him like Thomas did.
- Willie Bloomquist– Okay, Bloomquist did have one of the three Royals hits, but he also struck out three times.
What’s on tap
The Tigers will hand the ball to All-Star Edwin Jackson (8-5, 2.79 ERA) as he attempts to keep the current momentum of shut out innings. The Tigers have not been scored upon in the last 21 frames, and if Jackson and the Tigers can keep the Royals off the board tonight, it would be first time since 1949 that they would have three straight shutouts… Opposing Jackson will be Luke Hochevar. Hochevar (6-5, 5.38 ERA) has not faced the Tigers this season. He is 1-1 in three career outings (two starts) against the Tigers. This will be his first start in Comerica Park… Dontrelle Willis is scheduled to make a rehab start for AAA Toledo on Monday. It would figure the Tigers would leave him down there until rosters expand in September.