1-1, 10 games to go.
Relax. Take a deep breath. The Tigers own home field advantage for the rest of the ALDS. Yes, the hitting is a concern. Dare I say a grave one. But offense can be restored as quickly as it was lost, and this offense is simply too good to disappear forever. As KW pointed out, just look at what the Giants did (or didn’t do) during their first playoff series last year. They certainly didn’t have any problem scoring runs in the World Series.
Anibal Sanchez takes the rock this afternoon. Our #3 playoff starter is the reigning AL ERA leader. How sick is that? He was incredible during last year’s WS run, posting a 1.77 ERA and .192 BAA despite a 1-2 record. He allowed 2 ER on 5 hits in 6 1/3 in Game 3 of last year’s ALDS versus Oakland, but I feel confident that things will be better today.
Selected Sanchez Splits for 2013:
– v. Oak: 1-0, 12 IP, 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP (7 BBs), .596 OPS
– Day games: 4-3, 3.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .589 OPS
– at Comerica: 8-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .606 OPS
Same for Jarrod Parker
v. Det: 0-1, 3.1 IP, 21.60 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, 1.345 OPS
– Day Games: 5-3, 4.32 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .705 OPS
Johnny Peralta will get his first start of the series in LF this afternoon. Unfortunately, Dirks and Kelly have been so bad against righties this year, that Peralta’s .750 OPS versus righties will be a remarkable improvement.
It’s expected to be overcast with temperatures in the upper 50s this afternoon.
A few notes:
– Cabrera has reached base in every postseason game he’s played in – 26 in a row now.
– Today’s game will be exclusively broadcast on the MLB Network.
– For the A’s, Josh Donaldson moves to the No. 2 spot and Jed Lowrie falls to third. Seth Smith will DH for a second straight game. He’s 6-for-17 with two career homers off Anibal Sanchez.
Today’s Take the Series Lead Lineup:
1. Jackson, CF
2. Hunter, RF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Martinez, DH
6. Peralta, LF
7. Avila, C
8. Infante, 2B
9. Iglesias, SS
1:07pm ET start today. So take a long lunch.