Kevin Correia against Justin Verlander – what could possibly go wrong. Today’s game was expected to be pretty ugly, but it surprisingly wasn’t. Even though the score was 2-0 Tigers on Quintin Berry‘s first career home run before Correia could even record an out, it was a close game to the very end.
Alex Presley ended any chance of a no-hitter when he led off with a bunt-single. Apparently Clint Hurdle’s strategy was to keep bunting, because Josh Harrison followed with a bunt, but lined it right to third. In the fourth, Casey McGehee struck out after the home plate umpire said he swung on a check-swing. McGehee put up a fight, but Hurdle came out to argue for him. After a calm exchange of words, Hurdle was tossed. It was really strange that he got thrown out even though it was a pretty quiet conversation, and even the umpire threw him out nonchalantly. Jeff Bannister took over as manager from there.
Verlander gave up just two hits, both infield-singles, through six innings. In the seventh, the Bucs finally got to him. Pedro Alvarez roped a single to center for the first legitimate hit of the game. Garrett Jones followed it with a two-run bomb to right-center, tying the game. Verlander was beyond mad.
Alas, the tie didn’t last long. Chris Resop replaced Correia after 6 innings of 6-hit ball. He gave up a one-out walk to Berry, who swiped second. With two outs, Resop intentionally walked Prince Fielder. The next batter, Delmon Young, took a letter-high fast ball to RF, easily scoring Berry.
Josh Harrison flew out to end the eighth, missing a game-tying home run by a few inches. Cutch, McGehee, and Pedro went down in order in the ninth, although Cutch flew out to deep right. Verlander vamped it up to 98 MPH in the last inning, going the distance for the fourth time this year.
It’s hard to be upset about this one, considering Verlander is the best pitcher in the game. But at the same time, Resop blew it and it was a pretty winnable game after Jones tied it. Either way, a 4-2 homestand isn’t bad at all. After the game, it was announced that Brad Lincoln would be moved back to the bullpen, and Jeff Karstens would start tomorrow in Philadelphia. Everyone else’s start would be pushed back a day. The Bucs go to Philly for four games, and St. Louis for three. No Halladay, Lee, or Hamels for the Phillies. Cincy lost too, so no change in to top of the NL Central.
Pirates (38-33) – Tigers (35-37)
Win: Verlander (8-4)
Loss: Resop (0-3)