23-18, 2nd place, 1.5 games behind Cle (who have now won 4 in a row)
Anibal Sanchez did his best Justin Verlander last night, and promptly got booted in the 3rd inning after allowing 11 base runners and 5 ER. The Tigers were never really in the game, and the best offense in baseball was tamed again for the 3rd straight night.
Against an opponent whose number we seemed to have for a while, the Tigers are now 6-12 versus the Rangers since October of 2011. And it feels even worse than that because in those 12 losses, the Rangers have reached double digits against the Tigers 5 times. Think about that – roughly every 3rd game against the Rangers has been a blowout loss. The Rangers are averaging nearly 6.5 runs per game against the Tigers during the time span (116 to 76). I think it’s safe to say that the Rangers have our number these days.
So Doug Fister climbs the hill tonight to take on Derek Holland on Sunday night baseball. Holland is enigmatic, to say the least. The young lefty has been brilliant at times, but he also gets a lot of flack for a seeming lack of concentration on the actual game part of playing baseball. Holland’s success this year (3-2, 2.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) can partly be attributed to his low HR rate (just 2 all year – .33/9) which is unsustainable over the long run. But Holland is a hard-throwing lefty with a good sinker and a great slider, and is also issuing a career low 1.79 walks/9. Tonight won’t be easy.
Of Fister’s 8 starts this year, 6 have been quality. He rebounded nicely last week against Houston (remember, it was Houston) after his shortest start since 2011 against Washington the previous time out. Fister has been thumped by the Rangers in the past, to the tune of 14 ER and 19 hits (5 long balls) in 9 innings.
A few notes.
– This is the first time since 2003 that two Tigers’ starters didn’t make it through the 3rd inning in a series.
– In today’s the apocalypse is upon us note – the Tigers’ uni’s were beat out by the Orioles’. Blasphemy. This has really upset me.
– Prince Fielder is in a slump (I’m sure you knew this). Over his last 10 games he’s 6-36 with 1 HR. Last night’s RBI was his first in 7 games. He’s 0-3 career versus Holland, though lefties are hitting better against Holland than righties (.773 OPS v. .582 for righties).
I don’t feel good about it, but man do we need a win tonight – off-day tomorrow.
Someone please post the lineup later, as I’m headed to a BBQ (game will be on).