Verlander loses a tough one to Tampa Bay Rays

Tigers drop 4-2 contest

Posted In: Sports, Local Sports, National Sports,   By: Thomas Baird

12th April, 2012     0

The first place Detroit Tigers dropped their first game of the season to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on cool sunny afternoon in downtown Detroit.   A crowd of 28,180 fans saw the current A. L. MVP and Cy Young award winner pitch an outstanding game for the first 8 innings and then saw everything fall apart in the top of the 9th inning. 

Detroit would only muster out 2 runs for their ace on the day which is usually enough for Verlander.  Miguel Cabrera would lead the Tigers with 2 hits for the American League player of the week.  Verlander had thrown 8 shut out innings, had 6 strike outs and only had thrown 91 pitches so far entering the disastrous 9th inning.  Justin now has had two strong outings and come away with a ND (no decision) and a loss. 

Manager Jim Leyland decided to stay with his ace going into the top of the ninth.   Verlander would say after the game "I told the skipper that I was still strong and wanted to finish the game."   "I take full responsibility for the loss."   The 9th inning started with a base hit and then a strikeout.   The crowd then rose to its feet and started cheering for Verlander to finish the game.   However,  this is when the wheels fell off the cart.   Tampa Bay then followed with a single, walk and then another single before Leyland made the trip to the mound.   This game would also see two rare balks called in the game.  

Then relievers Dan Schlereth and Jose Valverde came into the game and didn't do anything positive and allowed a total of four runs to score all charged to Verlander.  Remember 2011 on how Verlander started out the season with a 2-3 record and then was almost unbeatable the rest of the season.   He has had two strong starts and not been properly rewarded yet.   Detroit only had 6 hits on the day.   I didn't expect the Tigers to go through the season undefeated but a long winning streak at the start of the season doesn't hurt either.   It will be an enjoyable season down at Comerica in 2012.  



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