Thanks to some late inning heroics by Boesch & Boston, the Tigers woke up today up 3 games in the AL Central. Prior to last night’s win, the Tigers were 3-6 in their last 9 series openers, and are now 15-19 for the year (according to my front of several Post-Its math). A win tonight guarantees a series win, with a day game to follow and then a weekend set in Kansas City. The Tigers then face the Indians and Twins in 9 out of the next 12 in what should be a pivotal two week stretch for the Central Division.
Doug Fister gets his first start for the boys in blue tonight. Fister is a tall and lanky 6-8, 210 righty (who bats lefty!) out of Fresno State. Fister is in his 3rd year in the bigs, and he’s been improving every year. He started 10 games in ’09 for Seattle, 28 last year, and then 21 this year before the trade. He doesn’t strike out many, but he’s trending in the right direction (kind-of 5.31/4.89/5.48 K/9). His real strength is that he doesn’t walk many (career 1.88 BB/9) nor allow many hits (just over 1 per inning). He doesn’t throw hard, but he throws a two-seamer, curve and slider with regularity, and effectively. He surely benefited from Safeco, so while his numbers should dip a little at CoPa, there is no reason why he can’t have success as a #4 or #5 starter here.
Matt Harrison climbs the hill for the Rangers. Harrison has been nails over his last five starts, going 3-0 while posting a 1.16 WHIP and 2.04 ERA, but he is 1-3 with a 7.11 ERA in six career games against the Tigers. Harrison is hittable, but he really limits the walks.
Guillen gets the day off to work on his home run trot, and because Raburn is 6-9 lifetime off of Harrison.
Your Please AJax, just take one pitch, Lineup is:
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Brennan Boesch, LF
3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
7. Ryan Raburn, 2B
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Wilson Betemit, 3B