71-61, 2nd place, 1 game behind CWS, 2 games behind WC.
One game at a time.
Max Scherzer continued his August assault on the American League with a masterful 4 hit, 1 walk, 0 ER and 9 strikeout performance over the White Sox last night. Don’t look now, but Scherzer has an outside chance at 20 wins. The Tigers got timely hits from Cabrera and Garcia, and Delmon Young hit two HRs, though one only counted as a triple. (Are you guys with me here? That ball clearly hit the yellow. How could they miss that?) It was a complete team performance.
So that gets us to tonight. Regular season games don’t get any better. Division rival. Sunday night baseball on ESPN. Ace v. Young Phenom. Win and we’re tied for first. My plan is progressing as planned, and I fully expect JV to bring it tonight.
To give you an idea of just how good Justin Verlander is, even with the 8 ER aberration last time out, JVs August ERA is 3.53.Verlander shut down the White Sox in his only start against them this year back on July 20th,when he allowed 2 ER in 8 IPs. Pierzynski has 3 career HRs off of Verlander in 71 ABs. JV has a 1.75 ERA and .92 WHIP at Comerica this year.
The Tigers have had Sale’s number this year, scoring 8 ER in 12 IPs covering two starts. Sale was roughed up last time out against Bal, but it’s nothing like what KC did to JV. Despite the Tigers’ successes against Sale, only Laird and Peralta have hit him well. Jackson, Cabrera and Fielder are a combined 3-26. I expect this to be a low scoring affair. Hopefully JV can keep his pitch count down.
A few notes:
– JV has allowed 10 unearned runs this year. Chris Sale has allowed 1.
– Before the single in the 9th off of Valverde, the White Sox were 0-17 in the series with RISP. It happens to everyone.
– Rangers rookie phenom and #1 overall prospect Jurickson Profar went yard in his first ML AB.
– DY is 12-27 over his last 7 games. His .740 season long OPS is only a shade off of his career .748 OPS. I hope he continues to mash this September and perhaps even into October, and I hope equally as much that DD doesn’t neglect his career body of work this off-season.
– Brandon Inge will undergo season ending shoulder surgery. Too bad he won’t be with Oakland for their stretch run.
– Al Al will be available tonight. Look for Smokey to use him in the most high leverage situation possible.
Tonight’s Series Sweeping Lineup:
1. Jackson, CF
2. Infante, 2B
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, LF
6. Peralta, SS
7. Garcia, RF
8. Boesch, DH
9. Laird, C