8-5, 1st place, 1 game up.
Last night’s win had a little bit of everything. To begin, a second consecutive tremendous start by Fister. 4 hits, 1 walk and 2 earned over 7, which was just enough time to give the Tigers an opportunity to make the game un-blowpen-able. The top of the lineup again showed why they are the best in baseball, with #s 1-3 going 7-13 with 6 RBI and 4 runs scored. Add in Fielder and VMart, and 1-5 went 10-22. Fielder had an off game including 4 Ks, but he’s not going to collect multiple hits every night, and this lineup is deep enough that on a night when your cleanup guy goes 0-5 and strands 3, the Tigers still win comfortably.
I was impressed with the major league debut of Yoervis Medina, who was baptized into the league in a very JL manner -bases loaded pressure situation. To which he responded by walking Hunter, and then striking out Cabrera on a nice outside fastball (I thought he got squeezed on the first pitch of the AB as well. He then K’d Fielder to lead off the 9th with a fastball in the same location. Fielder was walking out of the box before the umpire could raise his hand.
In case you didn’t notice this from last night – the Tigers struck out 16 (SIXTEEN) times. 10 out of the last 12 outs were Ks. They were also 2-10 with RISP. 12 base hits and 4 walks will mask a lot of things.
So on to tonight.
The Tigers face the great King Felix, otherwise known as the 2nd biggest contract in the AL AKA the 2nd best pitcher in baseball. That aside, Felix has dominated the Tigers over his career, to the tune of 9-2, and has been unbeatable as of late (if you consider 6 years “as of late”), going 9-0 with a 2.86 ERA covering 10 starts dating back to July of 2007. At Safeco he’s even better – 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA. Despite that, Miggy (.429 in 21 ABs) still hits Felix well. Look for Hunter (.324 career v. Felix covering 68 ABs) to get us going. The Tigers roster only has 2 career HRs off of King Felix – Peralta and VMart each have 1.
Tonight’s Is Something Wrong with Avila? Lineup:
1. Jackson, CF
2. Hunter, RF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Martinez, DH
6. Dirks, LF
7. Peralta, SS
8. Pena, C (remember, he’s a switch hitter, so my guess is that Jimmuh wants to give AA a night off)
9. Infante, 2B