Tigers 6, Rays 3 (box)
- What an offensive outburst! The Tigers had scored three runs or fewer in each of their last eight games coming into the evening. The last time they had surpassed three runs was on May 11 in a 9-7 win over Minnesota. They were 3-5 over that stretch.
- What a debut by Charlie Furbush! He entered the game in the fourth inning after Phil Coke turned his ankle on some unstable sod, and, after walking his first batter, went on to strike out two Tampa hitters to get out of the inning. He stranded the bases loaded (including two inherited runners). He ended up going 3.2 innings with three strikeouts and just the one walk, and more importantly, he got the ball to the late inning pitchers with the lead. Player of the game in my book.
- Joaquin Benoit pitched effectively in his newly restored role as the 8th inning setup man. He issued a two out walk, but retired the very next batter to get out of the inning in what was a one run game at the time. We’re all well aware of what he needs to do for the Tigers to make a run at the division.
- Would/should Jim Leyland consider hitting Jhonny Peralta or Alex Avila in the three slot? (Answers: No/Probably) I know Brennan Boesch doubled tonight, but he’s cooled off recently and his OPS has fallen to just .725 on the year. Peralta’s OPS sits at .858, Avila’s is .877, and yet they were hitting seventh and eighth in the lineup. Both also boast better career OPS numbers than Boesch.
- Has Jose Valverde ever pitched well in a non-save ninth inning? He pitched on Friday and Sunday, so I don’t think he needed to get work in. What’s the need to bring him into the ballgame anyway?
- Every Tiger starter reached base safely tonight. There were only 7 hits, but the Tigers used the base on balls to aid them in the four run ninth. Good to see some life out of the offense.