Starting Pitching: A-
It was nearly impossible for Fister to top Verlander’s performance.
But Fister pitched very effectively for the Tigers in his own right.
Fister fired seven ironclad frames, giving up two earned runs on six hits. Not your usual strikeout pitcher, Fister dispatched eight Oakland hitters.
How many Tigers fans cursed and fought tooth-and-nail not to fire objects at TV sets after Fister left after the seventh inning?
It was like Jekyll and Hyde from Game 1.
After tossing a smooth scoreless inning in Game 1, Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit was all over the place in this game.
Benoit let Yoenis Cespedes steal two bases in a row, as if the Tigers were up 10-0 and he did not matter. Benoit then fired a wild pitch, which brought Cespedes home to tie the game. Benoit then delivered a beach ball to Josh Reddick, who crushed a solo shot to give Oakland the lead.
Phil Coke started the ninth inning, but could only get two outs. He gave up one hit and a walk, before Al Alburquerque came in to clean up Coke’s mess.
Thankfully for the Tigers, Oakland’s bullpen was nearly as terrible.
Milone kept Detroit’s offense mostly at bay in this game. But Oakland as a team could not contain Cabrera, as the Tigers’ Triple Crown Winner went 3-for-5. Jhonny Peralta went 2-for-4.
As a team, Detroit pounded out 11 hits. The first five hitters in the Tigers’ lineup batted .347 (8-for-23).
Detroit did leave 10 runners on base, while hitting just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Regardless, the Tigers did just enough to get the job done.
While Detroit’s infield range is always an issue, the Tigers committed zero errors as a team. Cabrera did have a wild throw to first on a tough chopper hit by Crisp early in the game. But overall, the Tigers' defense played well.
The defensive gem of this game goes to rookie right fielder Avisail Garcia. With the game tied at one, Garcia scooped up a single to right and gunned down Crisp at home.
Instead of Oakland taking the lead with potential for a huge inning, Garcia’s play gave the Tigers its second out of the inning. Fister got the next batter out to hold the fort.