I’m not going to do a full post-game thread tonight because I’m just too tired (3:30 a.m. wakeup call in Manhattan), and judging by the lack of action on the game thread, most people have other things to do on a Friday night on a holiday weekend. But here are a few quotes from the clubhouse:
“I went out there today and basically competed with the best stuff I had today. Really, I just kind of got away from some of my strengths of commanding the baseball, and got the ball up in the zone. It hurt me tonight.”
PITCHING COACH RICK ADAIR:
“He missed 24-25 days from big-league competition, but actually tonight, that was probably the best bullpen I have ever seen him. His stuff was so good that it was almost to a fault, and it somewhat changed his style. He had enough stuff to get away from what he does. He was real strong, he punched out five in 4 2/3 innings. He had really good stuff but not the command that he normally has. Because he had good stuff, he challenged more up in the zone, not by design. I like where he’s going. it was just one of those nights. The killer in that (second) inning was Inge’s topper that nobody could get to. It prolonged the ining. It wasn’t his night, but I’m pleased with where he’s going.”
On the three walks in five innings: “Again, that’s almost like he was feeling too good. All three walks were with two outs. But he’s healthy, his velocity was real good, he threw some good cutters, his slider was real good. But again, when something like that (feeling so strong), happens, he got away from things that he normally does, like using the changeup more often. He was pitching with what he had, but he got away from his style. Honestly, I felt really good about how he competed. He very easily could have gotten out of that (second) inning. The ball that Kelly hit was a decent pitch, Jackson hit a ball off the end of the bat up the middle. But I like where he’s going.”
The pitch count hurt him quite a bit. I thought he was up in the zone similar to his last outing. He’s ust not quite feeling his release point. I thought there were stretches where he started using his changeup and breaking ball a little better and started to have better angle to his pitches. But the last two outings since his rehabs, really you aren’t seeing the angle that you saw before.”
Not much to say about this one. Max Scherzer dominated the Mariners for eight innings, and Doug Fister couldn’t get the third out when he needed it in the second and fifth. Mariners lose, 7-1.
TIGERS SEVENTH: The Tigers blow it wide open on Johnny Damon’s two-run homer off Sean White. It’s 7-1 Tigers.
MARINERS SIXTH: M’s get a two-out single by Figgins, but Scherzer strikes out Branyan for the second time. Remember, this is the same guy who fanned 14 in 5 2/3 innings against Oakland, so he’s got stuff. 5-1 Tigers.
TIGERS FIFTH:Once again, Fister falters with towo outs, and this time the Tigers knock him out of the game. He got two quick outs but walked Johnny Damon. Ordonez singled off Fister’s foot — the trainer came out, but Fister stayed in — and then Boesch hit an RBI single to right. Chad Cordero came in to pitch for the first time since June 25 and retired Carlos Guillen. 5-1 Tigers.
MARINERS FIFTH: Scherzer is on a roll. The Mariners looked meek in the fifth, with Gutierrez and Johnson striking out. 4-1 Tigers.
MARINERS FOURTH: A leadoff single by Russ Branyan leads absolutely nowhere. Lopez grounds into an inning-ending double play. Is that Max Scherzer, or Mickey Lolich? 4-1 Tigers.
TIGERS THIRD:Fister rebounds with easy third, putting the Tigers down in order. He struck out Johnny Damon for the second time and now has four strikeouts. 4-1 Tigers.
TIGERS SECOND: Fister couldn’t get out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam. His first pitch to Don Kelly — the guy who replaced Miguel Cabrera at first base — was banged for a two-run double. His next pitch to Austin Jackson was banged for a two-run single. Boom. 4-1 Tigers. The Tigers had loaded the bases on singles by Brennan Boesch and Brandon Inge, and a four-pitch walk to Alex Avila, hitting .228.
MARINERS SECOND: M’s get on board with Franklin Gutierrez’s eighth homer with two outs. Guti connected on No. 8 on a 3-1 pitch. I guess he’s feeling better. 1-0 Mariners.
TIGERS FIRST: Doug Fister matches Scherzer — a ground out, fly out and strikeout for each. 0-0.
MARINERS FIRST:Quick 1-2-3 innings for Max Scherzer, the rookie righty the Tigers got from Arizona in the three-way trade that also netted them Austin Jackson from the Yankees and lefty reliever Daniel Schlereth from the Diamondbacks. Schlereth was called up today . And, yes, Gutierrez is indeed out in center. 0-0
Those white hats being worn by both teams (and all MLB teams) are special “Stars and Stripes” caps, which have the American flag etched into the team’s logo. All proceeds from the sales of those caps will be donated by MLB to Welcome Back Veterans, a program which addresses the needs of returning American veterans and their families.
So far, no word that Franklin Gutierrez has been scratched. We’ll see definitively when his turn to hit comes up, or the Mariners take the field, whichever comes first. The Tigers are without the huge bat of Miguel Cabrera, scratched because of bat tightness.
The Mariners will be done with the Tigers for the season after these three games at Comerica Park — the first American League team against which they’ll finish their season series. Unless, of course, they meet the Tigers in the playoffs (tee hee).
Fister went just four shaky innings against the Brewers on June 26 (five hits, four runs), his first start since May 31 after a stint on the disabled list for shoulder fatigue. The Mariners are hoping he’ll be closer to the guy who was leading the league in ERA when he went on the DL.