Despite a division lead that was as big as 8 1/2 games in September, the Tigers ended up barely edging out the Cleveland Indians by one game–this despite the fact that Detroit owned the Indians themselves, putting up a remarkable 15-4 record against their rivals.
The much anticipated rematch of last year’s Central Division contenders had to wait until today, due to snow, rain, ice, cold, and general non-baseball-friendly conditions. Yesterday’s cancellation was in fact the 3rd already this season for the Indians (they made up one in a double-header), the 2nd for the Tigers, and the 9th overall in MLB. If the weather continues to be tricky it should make for some interesting scheduling down the line.
The Tigers decided to move Sanchez from Tuesdays start up to today and to keep Verlander starting Thursday as scheduled. This means that Drew Smyly has been bumped from the starting rotation for the 2nd time in as many attempts. Back to the bullpen for Drew.
Today’s DH-is-back Lineup:
DET P: Anibal Sanchez (RHP)
Sanchez handled the Indians well last season, going 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA and WHIP of 0.879.
CLE P: Zach McAllister (RHP)
Last season McAllister was 0-2 vs. Detroit with a 9.00 ERA, lasting less than 4 innings in his last 2 starts. Hitting him particularly well were Andy Dirks and Brayan Pena. Oh. Well Martinez hit him well too: 3 doubles in 7 at bats. So we will go with V-Mart as the Player of the Pregame.