PREGAME: The Tigers return home after that long west coast swing. I noticed a lot of Tigers hats on the Red Wings players in today’s parade. I wonder if Lord Stanley’s Cup will be making an appearance at the game tonight.
As for the pitching match-up it will be Paul Byrd and Justin Verlander. Byrd per usual is allowing a lot of hits, but walking nobody (only 8 this year). In fact he’s only been in 9 3-1 counts all year. That’s a typical start for Nate Robertson.
He’s the kind of guy that could give a confused offense like the Tigers fits. He has some pretty dramatic platoon splits to the tune of 914 OPS for lefties and 664 OPS for righties. We’ll see if Leyland goes with a bold move and puts Mike Hollimon in at shortstop for a struggling Renteria.
Byrd has allowed 14 homers this year, and it is hot and windy in Detroit today so maybe we’ll see some big flies.
Verlander has seen his ERA trending downward with quality starts in 3 of his last 4 starts (and would have been 4 for 4 if not for some poor defense in his last outing). He’s still walking too many and not striking out enough, but his high 90′s heat has returned. Verlander struggles against Cleveland though, with a 7.03 ERA in his career against the Tribe.
POSTGAME: Nice job by Verlander, again. Crappy job by the offense, again. These things really do start to write themselves. Oh, and to torment ourselves a little more here is Cabrera’s last at-bat. Pitch 5 is the one he swung at. I guess pitches 3 and 4 weren’t far enough away for his liking.