Game 2013.7: Blue Jays at Tigers
I know. It’s invisible ink, that’s all. Hold a candle to it.
After a Monday off for both teams, the Toronto Blue Jays (2-4) come to Detroit (3-3) for a three-game series. There is rain in the forecast for the Detroit area Tuesday through Thursday, and cooler temps those last two days, so the weather is likely to become a factor in the games at some point. Game time is 1:05 PM ET each day.
Probable starters for the series:
Tuesday, April 9: RHP Brandon Morrow vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez
Wednesday, April 10: LHP Mark Buehrle vs. RHP Rick Porcello
Thursday, Aptil 11: RHP Josh Johnson vs. RHP Doug Fister
The Blue Jays, like the Tigers, are a star-studded team with big fan expectations that has scuffled a bit out of the gate. Maybe more than a bit. Toronto’s team BA is .223 and OBP .295; fully half their runs (of 3.7 per game) are home runs, which doesn’t even include from home runs. Pitching? Team ERA of 4.82 and WHIP of 1.5. Compare Tigers: BA .282 & OBP .341 (but only 9 of 58 hits were XBH), ERA and WHIP of … um, OK, it’s a wash, 4.64 and 1.41. The Blue Jays have been sloppy defensively and erratic overall. The Tigers have been good defensively, and are technically without an error through 6 games (but we know better). Detroit’s major weakness has been a shaky bullpen, one game blown and two more put out of reach. If it’s less who you’re playing and more when you’re playing them, in Toronto’s favor is that they may choose this time to get it together. In Detroit’s favor is that the Jays will be attempting this in the face of better starting pitching than they’ve faced in three consecutive games so far this season. I like Tigers chances for a series win, myself. The Tigers have stolen as many bases as Toronto this year, by the way.
Brandon Morrow’s OPS-against vs. current Tigers (61 PA) is .635 vs. his career .695. He’s also struck out this bunch at a higher clip than his already impressive 9.6 K/9 would suggest. Anibal Sanchez’s OPS-against vs. current Blue Jays (113 PA) is .858 vs. his career .712, and he’s a bit more walk-happy against them as well. All this can only mean one thing: Anything. My guess is that Sanchez dominates and Morrow doesn’t make it through the 5th.
Back later with the post-game.
And now, may I present the up-to-the-minute and accurate starting lineups, courtesy of the wildly amusing and highly mobile…
POST-GAME: Detroit 7, Toronto 3. Wins don’t get much more satisfying than this. Sanchez got better as the game went on and showed off his considerable arsenal of pitches. Cabrera was just plain great.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Miguel Cabrera, Anibal Sanchez
HONORABLE MENTION: Don Kelly, Torii Hunter (who picked up career hit #2,000)
NOT SO GOOD: Jhonny Peralta, Joaquin Benoit
A turning point: Don Kelly’s tremendous HR-robbing catch of Arencibia’s smash to LF in the 2nd. A potential turning point: Another questionable attempt to take an extra base by Hunter, nailed at the plate in the 3rd. The game winner: Miguel’s sneaky 2-out, 3-run HR in the 4th. Backbreaker: Izturis’s throwing error in the 8th.