Jake Peavy’s fourth career postseason outing is off to a poor start in Detroit. A really, really poor start.
Peavy made it through the first inning unscathed, but he allowed a single to Victor Martinez to open the bottom of the second and then issued a pair of walks to load the bases. Omar Infante popped out, but Peavy then issued another walk to Austin Jackson, pushing a runner home. Jose Iglesias drove in the Tigers’ second run on a fielder’s choice groundout and then Torii Hunter hit a two-run double to left and Miguel Cabrera added an RBI single to center field.
It’s a 5-0 lead for host Detroit as the top of the third inning gets underway in this ALCS Game 4 at Comerica Park.
Doug Fister is on the hill for the Tigers, who trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven Championship Series.
Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.
Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.
Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.
After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.