|DETROIT ( SCHERZER )|
KANSAS CITY ( MENDOZA )
|979||DETROIT||+120||Ov 9,-105||+120||Ov 9,+105|
|980||KANSAS CITY||-130||Un 9,-115||-130||Un 9,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||61-49||-4.3||47-57||4.6||0.271||0.331||4.0||0.255||0.309|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.4||3-3||4.0||0.243||0.279||3.4||0.234||0.298|
|vs Right-handed Starters||48-61||-5.8||54-51||4.3||0.263||0.311||4.8||0.273||0.335|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.7||5-1||4.3||0.243||0.288||6.7||0.312||0.377|
|9/24/2012||VERLANDER(R)||KANSAS CITY||HOCHEVAR(R)||6-2||W||-255||7.5 un||O||13||4||0||9||6||1|
|9/25/2012||SANCHEZ(R)||KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)||2-0||W||-170||8.5 ev||U||10||10||0||3||4||0|
|9/26/2012||PORCELLO(R)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||5-4||W||-150||8.5 un||O||9||6||1||10||5||0|
|9/27/2012||FISTER(R)||KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)||5-4||W||-210||8.5 ev||O||8||4||0||6||3||5|
|9/28/2012||SMYLY(L)||@ MINNESOTA||DIAMOND(L)||2-4||L||-130||8.5 un||U||6||5||1||4||6||2|
|9/29/2012||VERLANDER(R)||@ MINNESOTA||WALTERS(R)||6-4||W||-250||8 ev||O||8||5||1||6||9||1|
|9/30/2012||SANCHEZ(R)||@ MINNESOTA||HENDRIKS(R)||2-1||W||-160||9 un||U||7||6||0||10||11||0|
|10/1/2012||PORCELLO(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)||6-3||W||-125||9 un||P||14||8||1||9||8||1|
|10/2/2012||FISTER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||2-4||L||-125||8.5 un||U||6||6||0||9||8||2|
|10/3/2012||MARTE(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)|| |
|9/19/2012||CHEN(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||3-0||W||+135||7.5 ov||U||9||8||0||9||11||1|
|9/20/2012||GUTHRIE(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||LIRIANO(L)||4-3||W||-115||8 un||U||7||5||1||9||7||0|
|9/24/2012||HOCHEVAR(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||2-6||L||230||7.5 un||O||9||6||1||13||4||0|
|9/25/2012||CHEN(L)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)||0-2||L||160||8.5 ev||U||3||4||0||10||10||0|
|9/26/2012||GUTHRIE(R)||@ DETROIT||PORCELLO(R)||4-5||L||140||8.5 un||O||10||5||0||9||6||1|
|9/27/2012||MENDOZA(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)||4-5||L||190||8.5 ev||O||6||3||5||8||4||0|
|9/28/2012||SMITH(L)||@ CLEVELAND||HUFF(L)||5-8||L||110||8.5 ev||O||11||6||1||16||11||1|
|9/29/2012||ODORIZZI(R)||@ CLEVELAND||GOMEZ(R)||7-6||W||115||8.5 un||O||10||6||2||13||20||0|
|9/30/2012||HOCHEVAR(R)||@ CLEVELAND||MCALLISTER(R)||3-15||L||125||8.5 un||O||7||6||1||19||10||0|
|DETROIT: HITTING: OF AUSTIN JACKSON doesn't make much contact, but manager Jim Leyland likes his speed in the leadoff spot. RYAN RABURN and RAMON SANTIAGO will split second base duties, with Raburn getting the majority of the starts. 3B MIGUEL CABRERA seems to have cleaned up his act. He's an MVP candidate. So is newcomer 1B PRINCE FIELDER who will try to keep slugging in his move to a pitchers' park. His presence was needed after DH VICTOR MARTINEZ was lost for the season with a knee injury. OF DELMON YOUNG is a pending free agent, and he hit well after escaping spacious Target Field. He'll nab the starting LF job but could also DH. OF BRENNAN BOESCH did enough pre-injury to earn an everyday role, but he'll again be in danger of fading over the summer. SS JHONNY PERALTA had a resurgence in 2011, and he's on the right side of 30. C ALEX AVILA might not hit for average, but his power is legit. Leyland favorite BRANDON INGE and DON KELLY will back up the All-Star corner infielders, so neither expect to get much playing time. Streaky OF ANDY DIRKS is a fourth outfielder. C GERALD LAIRD will spell Avila. |
STARTING PITCHING: You can't expect an identical stat line for JUSTIN VERLANDER; his opponent .236 batting average on balls in play suggests there was some luck involved in his MVP season. But he's still the best pitcher in the American League by a wide margin. DOUG FISTER's improved strikeout rate with the Tigers suggests he could sustain success as a quality No. 2 starter. MAX SCHERZER can still be outstanding when he's on, but he was inconsistent again last year. He could figure it out in his late-20s, but time is running out. RICK PORCELLO still has a ways to go. His mid-season success came against some weak lineups. He's still only 23, but he hasn't been able to beat hitters at any level in the pros. The Tigers are still searching for a No. 5 starter. Top prospect JACOB TURNER is only 20, but the Tigers haven't been shy about fast-tracking young arms. He was dominant in the minors, but torched in his first big-league stint. ANDY OLIVER appears to be the front-runner for this role, but DREW SMYLY is also a possibility.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOSE VALVERDE was perfect in 2011, but it was a surprising development considering his sliding K/BB ratio. For Tigers fans, he carries more risk than 49-for-49 would suggest. One of baseball's better set-up men, JOAQUIN BENOIT is an eighth-inning-only guy. He'd take over if Valverde got hurt. OCTAVIO DOTEL is another elite set-up man who will step up as the seventh-inning guy. As good as AL ALBURQUERQUE was in the regular season (one extra-base hit'a double'allowed in 43.1 innings!), he's out until at least the All-Star break after offseason elbow surgery. Lefty DANIEL SCHLERETH has a chance to be the closer of the future, but first he'll need to cut down on the walks.
|KANSAS CITY: HITTING: With Melky Cabrera gone, OF LORENZO CAIN will get first crack at leadoff and centerfield. If he falters, speedster JASON BOURGEOIS, vet MITCH MAIER and prospect WIL MYERS are waiting. Former Brewer YUNIESKY BETANCOURT will start at 2B and has good life in his bat for a middle infielder. OF ALEX GORDON may not hit for average, but his approach and power are there. DH BILLY BUTLER is rock solid, but it's fair to wonder whether his power will ever progress. 1B ERIC HOSMER has MVP-type upside, and he's on the verge of figuring out MLB pitching. OF JEFF FRANCOEUR still chases too many bad pitches, but the organization likes him and he still has some pop and speed. 3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS is too good for the minors, but he still hasn't caught up to major-league pitching. There's a good chance he finds his groove this year. C HUMBERTO QUINTERO will be the main backstop with BRAYAN PENA backing him up. Speedy SS ALCIDES ESCOBAR's bat hasn't caught up to his glove. |
STARTING PITCHING: K.C. once again hopes this is the year LUKE HOCHEVAR puts it all together. His velocity picked up late last year, allowing him to be more than a groundball guy. Lefty BRUCE CHEN's late-career renaissance continues. He'll be a reliable veteran arm in the middle of K.C.'s rotation again. FELIPE PAULINO has the biggest upside in this rotation. He's always had one of MLB's best fastballs. His problem was that, when he missed (which has been often), it was usually belt-high and over the middle of the plate. If he hits his spots as he did late last year, he's got potential. But Paulino will start the season on the DL with a sore elbow. The Royals hope to solve JONATHAN SANCHEZ's command issues. The lefty is a risk, but has legitimate No. 3 potential. Top prospect DANNY DUFFY will get every chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOAKIM SORIA is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, leaving GREG HOLLAND to pick up closer duties. Holland was the Royals' best bullpen arm in 2011 and his stuff has always been nearly unhittable. It's just a matter of whether last year's vastly improved walk rate was for real. JONATHAN BROXTON was a disaster last season, but he'll be given every chance to become the No. 2 guy in this bullpen because of his experience in Los Angeles. AARON CROW was a first-round pick (twice) for his college career as a starter, but wore down late last year, and walked too many batters.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (DETROIT-KANSAS CITY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Tigers-Royals Preview* =======================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Detroit (87-73) at Kansas City (71-89), 8:10 p.m. EDT
Despite being assured of their playoff position, the Detroit Tigers have plenty of drama surrounding the regular season's final day.
Miguel Cabrera looks to wrap up baseball's first Triple Crown in 45 years when the AL Central champions visit the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
The Tigers (87-74) fell 4-2 to the Royals on Tuesday, as Cabrera went 2 for 3 with a two-run single before being replaced by Omar Infante in the fifth.
Cabrera increased his league-leading numbers to a .331 average and 139 RBIs to go along with his major league-best 44 homers. With Cabrera ahead by big margins in the AL average and RBI races, the only real threat to him becoming the majors' first Triple Crown winner since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 is Texas' Josh Hamilton and his 43 home runs.
"It's a big thing and it should be a big thing," manager Jim Leyland said. "It really hasn't gotten away from what we're trying to accomplish, and now you feel more at ease talking about it."
Leyland initially said he's unsure whether he'll have Cabrera in the lineup Wednesday, then said the slugger will play if he wants.
"You know, he writes the lineup and I do what he wants," Cabrera said. "I play ball. He's the manager, he's the boss. So whatever he wants to do, we're going to do. I play for the manager."
Cabrera was 4 for 5 with a homer in the opener of this series as the Tigers clinched their second straight division title with Monday's 6-3 win. They're guaranteed to begin the postseason Saturday at home against the division winner with the second-best record.
Max Scherzer's status for that series is in question, being forced to miss a second straight scheduled start Wednesday. The 16-game winner became a casualty of Monday's celebration when a teammate apparently stepped on his ankle.
"This is a slightly twisted ankle. You know, swollen, but it doesn't appear to be serious," Leyland said. "But it's obviously serious enough that he won't pitch (Wednesday)."
Leyland said he planned to have the right-hander throw five innings to test his sore right shoulder that forced him to miss his last start.
"I wanted to tell you exactly how it happened so there wouldn't be any speculation about his arm or anything," Leyland said. "This is the scenario we have right now."
Right-hander Luis Marte is scheduled to get his first career start in Scherzer's place. Marte (0-0, 3.32) has made 12 relief appearances this season, most recently giving up one hit in two-thirds of an inning last Wednesday versus Kansas City.
The Royals (72-89) will finish the season with their most victories since the 2003 team went 83-79. They ended a five-game skid to the Tigers on Tuesday as Alcides Escobar went 3 for 4 with a homer and Jeff Francoeur added a solo shot.
Kansas City looks to finish strong with help from Luis Mendoza, who has pitched well of late.
Mendoza (8-9, 4.36) has a 2.37 ERA over his last three starts, including when he gave up four runs - two earned - in seven innings of a 5-4 walkoff loss to Detroit on Thursday.
Cabrera is 4 for 11 with a homer against the right-hander.
The Tigers, who are 12-5 versus Kansas City this year, haven't lost a season series between the teams since 2008.
|Last Updated: 3/21/2018 11:55:34 AM EST|