39-29, 1st place, 5 games up on Kansas City who is 8-2 over their last 10 and has passed Cle to move into 2nd.
Good solid win yesterday. Scherzer was good, but not great, on his way to his ML leading 10th win. I don’t think anyone would argue with me on that. Thank about that for a second, the guy Ks 10 and allows 1 run over 6 innings, and it’s only a “good” outing for him. He was incredible in jams, as the one hit the Orioles got with a RISP off of him only advanced a runner to third. A high K rate will strand a lot of runners. Scherzer would be the best pitcher on a number of staffs around the Majors.
The offense pounded out 14 hits, though only 2 of them were XBH, including the Miggy HR and another two-bagger for Johnny Doubles.
JV climbs the hill tonight looking for his 10th win. Wait, he only has 8 wins? He didn’t get a win last time out? It’s okay, I expect he’ll be at 10 in 6 days. JV is 8-0 vs. the O’s with a 2.93 ERA.
Thanks to an injury to Jason Hammel, the Tigers face Zach Britton tonight. Britton is a struggling lefty who was in the majors for all of 2011, then roughly 1/2 of 2012, and will be making his second start in 2013. His career WHIP is 1.49, his career ERA is 4.85, and he has a career K rate of just 6.19. The Tigers should have their chances early and often tonight.
Saw some good stuff on the web today, so an expanded few notes:
– My brother gives pretty good gifts, but Justin Verlander gives better ones.
– According to Fangraphs, the Tigers 2013 WAR projects to be the third best of all time. Yes, your 2013 Tigers are being mentioned in the same breath as the ’27 and ’39 Yankees. Even more interesting is the current Tigers WAR rankings: Cabrera (4), Sanchez (3.4), Verlander (3.0), Scherzer (3.0) and Fister (2.7). I really liked this quote:
“The rotation is obscene. Dave wrote about this at the end of May. With Rick Porcello suddenly striking batters out, all five of the starters would be top starters on other teams, and Drew Smyly isn’t bad as insurance. Cabrera, in his prime, is one of the best hitters ever, and Prince Fielder is obviously dangerous, and look at those performances from Avila and Martinez. Avila stands to improve, and so does Martinez, and if they don’t, the Tigers could make roster upgrades as they think about the playoffs. Nick Castellanos appears to have figured out Triple-A, clearing the way for him to figure out the majors, and that’s good young support.”
– With Jose Alvarez filling in on Thurs for Sanchez, who gets sent down? Likely to be an outfielder, says James Schmehl of MLive. Also note Schmehl’s distaste for the bunt and his reasoning why (3rd question down).
– I think that it’s safe to say that Valverde has officially lost the everyday closer role. Though my guess is that he’ll still get first shot in a close game.
– Mike Heath is old enough to be a grandfather?
Tonight’s Series Clinching Lineup (remember, we gotta win series):
1. Jackson, CF
2. Hunter, RF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Martinez, DH
6. Peralta, SS
7. Tuiasosopo, LF
8. Infante, 2B
9. Pena, C