Detroit Tigers, 38-40, 4 games behind Chicago.
Is it time to move Austin Jackson back in the lineup?
AJax continues to impress, still leading the Tigers in batting average (.326), on base percentage (.408) and OPS (.945), and only a few points behind Cabrera in slugging percentage (.537 to .541).
With runners in scoring position, the big bat in the Tiger lineup is not Miguel Cabrera, and not Prince Fielder, but Austin Jackson, who is hitting .372 with an OPS of 1.212 with RISP, with 3 HR and 29 RBI. Cabrera is at a healthy .368/.966, also with 3 HR and 41 RBI–but he has had the advantage of twice as many plate appearances with RISP as Jackson has had (103 vs 56) because of Jackson’s spot in the lineup.
Jackson came up big again last night with 2 out and 2 on, and put the game away with a rare multi-run home run against Pine Tar Peralta.
The win last night means that the Tigers still have a chance to hit the halfway point of the season above .500, but they will have to win today to do it.
That task will fall to Drew Smyly, who after a blistering start, has had a string of rather ordinary outings. There was nothing ordinary about the last start of his opponent, Alex Cobb. In what coach Joe Maddon called a “heroic” performance, Cobb pitched a complete game against the Royals–an 8-run, 13-hit complete game. Let’s hope there is more of that heroism this afternoon.
Stat of the Day: Over his last 2 starts Rick Porcello has an ERA of 0.69, and a WHIP of an even 1.000.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Raburn, Kelly, and Santiago, who between them will find some way of getting a runner or two into scoring position for Austin Jackson
Today’s Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Don-Kelly Lineup: