Detroit Tigers: 42-34, 1st Place (2.5 ahead of Cleveland).
The Angels continued their befuddling mastery of the Tigers last night with a 7-4 victory which put them at 5-for-5 for the season, a stretch in which they have outscored Detroit by a whopping 43-16. Their Pythagorean winning percentage should probably be at least 1.000. Home, away, it doesn’t seem to matter.
This afternoon Los Anaheim looks to make it a perfect 6-for-6 2013 sweep.
What has gone wrong? Even though there have been a few outbursts of power and a few runs scored, the hitting has been lackluster at best, hitting .247 for the season, with a meager .676 OPS, which puts the team as a whole almost exactly in Avisail Garcia territory. And this against the team with a pitching staff that has been one of the shakiest in the league: they are 13th in team ERA with a hefty 4.39, and better than only Houston in Runs Per Game, at 4.74.
Not that the Tiger pitchers have fared any better against the Angels. Oh no. The Tiger hurlers have been bombed to the tune of a 6.65 ERA and a ridiculous .325 Batting Average Against. Oh, and that ERA doesn’t include the 6 Runs on Errors; yes, the fielding has been awful also.
The good news is that the one pitcher that has been immune so far has been today’s starter, Doug Fister. In his previous start against the Angels he went 7 innings of shutout baseball, holding them to 5 hits, though the bullpen eventually lost the game. Perhaps he could try to make it 8 innings today?
The other good news is that regardless of what happens today, Detroit has seen the last of the Angels for this year. It doesn’t get any easier though: on deck is an 11-game road trip with 3 in Tampa Bay, 4 at the hot Toronto Blue Jays, and then finishing with 4 at the Cleveland Indians, who are right back in the race.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Torii Hunter again. Torii was a good call yesterday, going 2-for-5 and flexing some muscle with a home run and a double. The Ex-Angel now has hit his former team to the tune of .400 with a 1.128 OPS, 2nd only to Miguel Cabrera (.474/1.388).
Today’s Return of Ramon Lineup: