Well, well, well. I wake up from my Mavericks exuberance state and look where our beloved Tigers are. First place. Who, other than Mr. X, can say they saw this coming?
For all of his idiosyncrasies and questionable moves, Ol’ Smokey has been pulling all of the right strings as of late. Dirks, Worth and Santiago have contributed, and the bullpen has been outstanding over the last month or so. In fact, since an ill-fated Ryan Perry appearance on May 21st which saw his ERA skyrocket to an even 10, the bullpen has posted a 2.48 ERA and limited opponents to a .198 BA. The Furbush call-up and Purcey deal have contributed heavily to the bullpen’s success, and Al Albuquerque leads all AL relievers with 15.49 K/9 and a .128 BAA.
The Tigers resume interleague play tonight at Coors Field, as they look to continue their interleague dominance, and keep Cabrera away from the Coors part of the field. The Tigers are 64-29 since ’06 against the NL, which is second best in the majors behind Boston during that time.
A very good Jason Hammel climbs the mound for the Rockies tonight. For the season he’s posting a 3.65 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He doesn’t strike out many (45 in 81.1 innings), and he walks just under 3 per game.
Porcello looks for his 7th win tonight, coming off three quality starts in a row after a blowup against Boston. Since that Boston game, Porcello has only allowed 6 ER in 19 2/3 (2.75 ERA) with a 1.27 WHIP. Note that Porcello is 4-1 on the road this year with a 2.27 ERA away from Comerica.
Tonight’s pre-player of the gamepost is Brennan Boesch. The altitude helps his swing as he looks to continue his hot hitting after his 5-11 performance against Cleveland.
Tonight’s Special Alex Avila Experiment Lineup looks like this:
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Brennan Boesch, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, C
5. Magglio Ordonez, RF
6. Alex Avila, 3B
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
9. Rick Porcello, P