There have been some flashbacks to the 1987 season when the Tigers took 4/7 games over the last two weeks to close out the division. Incredibly, every single game was won by 1 run. I’ll never forget when the Tigers clinched on a solo shot by Herndon and a complete game shutout gem tossed by Tanana. (Did you know that the Twins ended that season with a pythagorean < .500?) Baseball is fun.
Difference is these games don’t (seemingly) matter too much these days. Though they have been exciting to watch. I really hope that Leyland sits Santiago today after he managed to bunt into a double play with a runner on 2nd and no out in the first, and then struck out three times on 10 pitches (yes, on 10 pitches) in three of his other four ABs. (He did work 1 walk.) The last K was with the tying run on 2nd. Tigers were 1-9 with RISP yesterday, which puts them at 2-25 or .080 over the last two games.
Rzepczynski has been a recent spot starter for the Blue Jays since being called up on July 7th. He’s had one really strong outing against LAA where he blanked them on 2 hits over 7 innings, and a bunch of pretty bad ones. On the season he’s got a 5.65 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. He strikes out around 7 batters per 9, and walks over 3. He’s given up 5 home runs in 25 2/3 IP. He gets 2 ground balls for every fly ball, so expect a lot of stuff down in the zone.
Other than the start 10 days ago against the Yankees, Porcello has been very good as of late. He had his best outing of the season last time out against Cleveland where he went 7 innings and only gave up 2 hits with 0 earned. Porcello has not allowed a home run in his last four starts after allowing nine over the previous 8.
Tigers need a win to salvage a split in the series before heading to Minnesota on Tuesday.