UPDATE: It’s a washout. They’ll try and do this again tomorrow night around 8:30. Don’t know if this will hold or not, but as I write this, MLB.com lists Justin Verlander as the starter and TBA for the Cardinals. I hope it’s a goof. Skipping Bonderman would be, ummm, there’s not even words.
PREGAME: I’m far from worried about the series going into this game. Of course another loss tonight and that all changes. Tonight fans of both teams are confident in their starters.
For the Cardinals it will be Jeff Suppan. Suppan has been very good over his last 2 starts allowing only 1 run over 15 innings. In his last start against the Mets he only allowed 2 hits, but did issue 5 walks. The way the Tigers have been swinging the bats, they’ll have a hard time benefitting from any control issues that Suppan might have.
Magglio Ordonez has had considerable success against Suppan posting a 395/469/581 line over 43 at-bats with as many homers as strike outs (2). Brandon Inge has hit for the cycle (plus a double) over 14 at-bats. Placido Polanco has had no success posting a 1 for 13 with 3 walks.
Suppan has been better at home this year, posting a 3.18 ERA and 248 batting average against in Busch Stadium (5.36 ERA, .313 BAA on the road). Lefties hit him better with a +100 margin in OPS (836 vs 736), although they are slightly more likely to strike out (look out Curtis).
The Tigers will feature Jeremy Bonderman who sports the best peripherals on the staff. He’s basically had one rough inning in his last 2 starts. That inning being the first in game 4 of the ALCS when he surrenedered 2 runs.
Caridnals hitters have pretty limited to exposure to Bonderman with only Scott Spiezio and Ronnie Belliard gathering more than 15 at-bats. Belliard is 3 for 21 and Spiezio is 4 for 15 including a homer.
Bonderman’s road ERA of 3.63 is almost a full run lower than his ERA at Comerica Park.
CF – Granderson
LF – Monroe
SS – Guillen
1B – Casey
C – Rodriguez
3B – Inge
P – Bonderman
I’m totally down with this lineup. Pudge didn’t move, but if he turns in another 0-fer hopefully it won’t be as damaging. Let’s just hope that 2-3-4-5 can put something together. For that matter anybody putting something together would be nice.
LF – Duncan
3B – Rolen
CF – Edmonds
RF – Wilson
P – Suppan
The weather figures to be awful, so this might be a moot point. If they play, it is expected to start at 8:30ish.