PREGAME: I’m not big on advocating games as must-win. The term is way overused and it’s something I’ve heard thrown around at least a dozen times already this season for the Tigers. So I won’t call this a must-win. Instead I’ll call it “they better freakin’ win.” It’s not that the game holds that many ramifications. But the Tigers send out their ace against a replacement starter. A replacement starter with a 7.53 ERA and half as many homers as strikeouts. It’s time for the Tigers lineup to wake up.
Jeremy Sowers takes the mound for the Indians. The last 2 times he faced Detroit he went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits. I’d take that again. If you look at his splits, they are all bad except for when the hitter is down 0-2. So Tigers hitters, don’t do that.
Justin Verlander, who was moved up a spot with the off day allowing him to make 2 starts on the homestand, will look to be more efficient. He’s been racking up strikeouts, but racking up walks as well with 12 in his last 17 innings.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Prior to tonight’s game Placido Polanco will become a US citizen. So we’ll have to remember this day to check his splits by citizenship.
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: Well 9-2 will certainly do. I have to admit I was worried at the outset. Verlander needed 25 pitches to get through a 2 run first inning, while it took the Tigers 9 batters before they hit a ball hard. But then it all got better.
The Tigers remembered they were facing Jeremy Sowers. Justin Verlander remembered he was a stud and the rest was gravy.