The Detroit Tigers won a crucial game at home to take the rubber game against the New York Yankees. Alex Avila gave the Tigers their fifth walk-off win of the season with an RBI single that won the game 3-2 in the ninth.
The win is extremely important for the Tigers and a very tough loss for New York. The game was won in the ninth, but the Tigers quietly got a very strong start from rookie Kyle Lobstein. It was just his second MLB appearance and his first career start. Lobstein went six innings and gave up just two runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk. His start is even more important in the bigger picture because of recent injuries to Detroit’s starting pitching.
Justin Verlander was supposed to start today, but has continued to be bothered by inflammation and discomfort in his pitching shoulder. There’s no telling whether things will clear up quickly or if Verlander is destined for the 15-day DL. Anibal Sanchez is another key starter and is also on the shelf. It’s more than likely that Sanchez will miss the remainder of the season.
Between the injuries to Verlander and Sanchez, Detroit is going to need someone to step up into the rotation and deliver down the stretch. Could Lobstein be that guy? He showed extreme poise and confidence in himself during a very important game that almost had a playoff feel to it.
The Tigers are going to need someone like Lobstein to step up and help the team squeak into the postseason if Verlander doesn’t return soon. It should also be noted that Detroit’s offense had another poor showing with just five hits today. The Tigers’ inconsistency on offense has made the margin for error very small for their pitchers.
Lobstein stepped up in a big game today and certainly looked good enough to earn another start. He didn’t get the win, but he was a main factor in helping the Tigers stay close to the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central. The win also draws Detroit even with the idle Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card spot.