When I first took a look at the schedule, I thought that the Tigers should be able to take each of the first 2 series, and get out of the gate 4-2. After a disappointing games 2 and 3, the Tigers can get to 4-2 with a sweep today, which would be the first regular season sweep of the Yankees since ’08, and first in Detroit since 2000.
The Tigers face Yankees ace CC Sabathia. In his career, Sabathia is 18-12 with a 4.43 ERA against the Tigers. Over his last 8 starts at Comerica, he’s 2-5 with a 6.80 ERA. Which segues nicely into my next point – is Sabathia losing his stuff?
Looking at Fangraphs Pitch f/x data, you can see that Sabathia’s fastball has lost a few mph. Early in his career he averaged about 94 mph and topped out at 99. Last year he averaged 92.4 and topped out at 96.3. He looked slow in spring training, and in the Yankees opener, his fastball averaged 89.9 mph and topped out at 91.3. I recognize that one game doesn’t make a sample size, but his 2011 and 2012 have begun the downward trend. I don’t know if he can reverse it at this point in time. As we’ve discussed here before, losing a few mph on your fastball is killer for a starting pitcher, and low 90s got Jose Valverde booted from the big leagues.
This is CC’s 10th time to match up against JV, he’s 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA. Both Cabrera (1.147 OPS) and Fielder (1.098) rake against CC. Peralta (1-17) not so much.
Let’s see if JV can pitch into the 6th today.
A few notes:
- Austin Jackson has led off each game by reaching base, and has scored 4 times. He has 7 runs scored in 5 games this season. And he’s Kd 2 while walking 3 times.
- ESPN did a touching article on Max Scherzer and his brother yesterday.
- I’ve gotta take back my “6.74″ post yesterday. The Tigers bullpen ERA is actually a bit lower because none of the ERs were charged to Al Al yesterday, despite a 3.0 WHIP performance.
- Off day tomorrow – so root extra hard today.
Today’s Series Sweeping Lineup (coming soon – update, gotta jet, someone please post). I think we’ve established that Pena will be starting, look for Tuiasosopo to start in left.