Detroit Tigers, 18-11, 1st Place (.5 ahead of KC).
The Tigers have their bags packed, and prepare to leave Houston a bit reluctantly, one imagines, after their party of a game last night and a 3-for-3 start to the series. After leaving the strangely-named Minute Maid Park (there is not a tiny maid anywhere in sight), the Tigers have a two-game howdy of a series in Washington, and then back to Detroit to play three with Cleveland, and then…more Astros!
One interesting (if trivial) aspect of the new Interleague play schedule: pitchers, of course, have to bat in National League parks since the play is by National League rules there, with no Designated Hitter. Since there are at most three consecutive games in National League parks under the new scheduling, theoretically a pitcher could manage to make it through the season without ever having to bat. Mr. Justin “Hitless” Verlander is off the hook for the Washington series. The next away Interleague games are May 28-29 in Pittsburgh, and Verlander’s schedule should get him out of that one also.
At any rate, Verlander does climb the hill this afternoon for the asphalt game of the series, broom in hand. His counterpart will be Philip Umber, who with an 0-6 start has a shot at the coveted Maroth Award this season.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Miguel Cabrera. I was going to say Alex Avila, since he had a 2nd consecutive good day at the plate, which is a bigger deal for the Tigers’ season than a shellacking of the Astros is. But today he rests. Cabrera has 2 home runs in 6 at bats against Umber
Today’s B-Team (Broom-Team?) Lineup: