Besieged by injuries and spotty play, Detroit harbors slim hopes of reaching the playoffs, currently five games behind fellow AL Central foe, Minnesota, for the last wild card spot.
All doom and gloom aside, Wednesday night at Comerica Park was something special, as Justin Verlander took a no-hitter to the ninth inning, only to have it spoiled by a leadoff double from Chris Iannetta. Verlander, the 2001 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner, retained his composure and finished up the ninth by getting the Angels out in order, completing the one-hit shutout for a 5-0 Tiger victory.
As is the case with many of his teammates, Verlander is not having anything even remotely resembling a championship season. He's 2-6 with a 3.45 ERA, but against the Angels the old magic was back. Throwing 74 of 112 pitches for strikes, Verlander fanned nine and issue just a pair of walks.
|Cuddyer: 3-5, 2B, HR|
In spite of the two walks - in the third and eighth innings - Verlander faced the minimum heading to the ninth, thanks to a pair of double plays turned by his infielders.
The loss by the Angels was yet another blow to their post-season hopes. Since August 10, LA is 5-11, and they've lost five of their last six, given up the second wild card spot and now trail the Twins by a game and Texas by 1/2 game for the final playoff spot.
The Angels and Tigers conclude their three-game series at 1:08 pm EDT Thursday.
Winners of six straight with a 9-4 win over the Phillies, the Mets are putting it all together at the right time and blowing away the competition in the NL East.
Michael Cuddyer went 3-for-5 with a single, double and a two-run homer (10), driving in three runs to pace the offense. Cutter's blast in the eighth put the Mets up by a 6-0 score. New York's bullpen nearly squandered seven shutout innings from Bartolo Colon, giving up four runs to the Phillies in the bottom of the eighth.
Tyler Clipart quelled the uprising, getting the final out in the eighth and working the ninth for his 18th save of the season and his second as a member of the Mets.
The Mets can complete the four-game sweep of the Phillies when the two teams meet Thursday night at 7:05 pm EDT.