Seattle 3, Detroit 1 (box)
Justin Verlander fell to 0-2 versus Seattle this season, but much as was the case in his first start against them, he put up a lot of zeros. Verlander went eight strong innings, allowing just seven base runners and fanning 10. But he takes the loss after allowing three runs to score in the decisive fifth inning.
In his other start against the M’s, Verlander had similar struggles. His 7.1 inning outing was mired by a five run fifth on April 17, the only inning in which he allowed a run, in an eventual 6-3 Mariner win.
Ian Snell earned the victory for Seattle. He lasted 5.2 innings and left after allowing a four hits and three walks, but just one run. It was the first good outing Snell has had since coming over in a trade with Pittsburgh, and continued a season long trend of struggling pitchers finding their groove against Detroit. Snell fell behind on 13 of the 23 hitters he faced, but the Tigers’ inconsistent offense reared it’s ugly head again, and could never make him pay.
- Verlander– Although he takes the loss, he was very, very good in this one. Verlander’s 10 strikeouts raised his total to 204 on the season, the most in the American League, and the most by a Tiger since Jack Morris fanned 208 in 1987.
- Ichiro Suzuki– I am really not a fan of his at all. I probably would be if he weren’t so brash as to put his first name on his jersey. Suzuki is a phenomenal hitter, though. Every time he steps to the plate, he has the ability to do something special. Two more hits including the decisive two-run homer last night.
- Seattle’s Bullpen– As bad as they were Tuesday, three Mariner relievers combined to shut down the Tigers on Wednesday. In 3.1 innings, Sean White, Mark Lowe, and David Aardsma fanned five Tigers while allowing just two hits.
- Magglio Ordonez– 3 for 3 with a walk in four trips. He raised his average to .277. Let’s all just get over the talk about his contract, he’s going to play, and he should.
- Russell Branyan– Branyan has always had high strikeout rates, so his four strike out effort last night shouldn’t have come as much of a shock, especially when facing a guy like Verlander.
- Curtis Granderson– He is now zero for his last 13 and just looks lost. More on him later today.
What’s on tap
The Tigers will look to take the season series against Seattle when Jarrod Washburn takes the hill to face his old team. Washburn was outstanding in his last start, holding the Royals without a run over eight innings. He may need a similar effort Thursday when facing Ryan Rowland-Smith. Seattle’s left hander has pitched well since joining the rotation. He held the Yankees to two runs on three hits over seven innings in his last outing. The Mariners could have newly acquired utility man Bill Hall in the lineup Thursday, probably replacing Jack Hannahan at third base.