Game 89: Indians at Tigers

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.

CLE @ DET, Tuesday, July 8, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

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.

  • Very happy to see Verlander have a light workload with only 99 pitches. He’d been piling up the pitch counts as of late.
  • Miguel Cabrera seems to be hitting better with the bad hip flexor with a 4 hit night including a couple of sore leg friendly homers.
  • Marcus Thames stopped the sucking with a double and a opposite field homer yet he still isn’t allowed to finish a game.
  • And Edgar Renteria reached on an error. He seemed to like his time on base because he ripped a solid single to center his next time up snapping an “awful for his last lot of at-bats” funk.
  • Aquilino Lopez looked good. Real good.