|DETROIT ( VERLANDER )|
SEATTLE ( IWAKUMA )
|961||DETROIT||-160||Ov 7,+110||-160||Ov 6.5,+105|
|962||SEATTLE||+150||Un 7,-130||+150||Un 6.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||8-3||+3.8||7-4||5.7||0.297||0.356||2.9||0.206||0.278|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.5||5-2||6.4||0.286||0.347||2.9||0.213||0.283|
|vs Right-handed Starters||4-7||-3.7||4-6||2.9||0.217||0.275||3.6||0.234||0.280|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.6||2-4||2.4||0.218||0.266||3.9||0.242||0.294|
|4/4/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ MINNESOTA||PELFREY(R)||2-8||L||-145||8.5 un||O||8||10||0||10||6||2|
|4/5/2013||FISTER(R)||NY YANKEES||NOVA(R)||8-3||W||-180||8 ov||O||9||5||0||6||6||0|
|4/6/2013||SCHERZER(R)||NY YANKEES||HUGHES(R)||8-4||W||-185||8 un||O||17||11||0||6||6||2|
|4/7/2013||VERLANDER(R)||NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||0-7||L||-195||7 ov||P||8||11||0||13||8||0|
|4/12/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)||3-4||L||-115||7.5 ev||U||12||7||1||8||6||0|
|4/13/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ OAKLAND||ANDERSON(L)||7-3||W||-130||7 un||O||10||6||0||7||10||0|
|4/14/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ OAKLAND||PARKER(R)||10-1||W||-130||8 ov||O||14||11||0||3||6||1|
|4/16/2013||FISTER(R)||@ SEATTLE||HARANG(R)||6-2||W||-160||7.5 un||O||12||10||0||4||3||0|
|4/17/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)||2-1||W||-115||6.5 ev||U||7||11||0||11||10||2|
|4/18/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)|| |
|4/19/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ LA ANGELS||HANSON(R)|| |
|4/20/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)|| |
|4/21/2013||FISTER(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)|| |
|4/23/2013||SCHERZER(R)||KANSAS CITY||DAVIS(R)|| |
|4/24/2013||VERLANDER(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|4/25/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/4/2013||MAURER(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)||2-8||L||150||7.5 un||O||8||8||0||10||1||0|
|4/5/2013||BEAVAN(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||8-7||W||125||8.5 un||O||12||4||1||10||7||1|
|4/6/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||AXELROD(R)||3-4||L||-135||7.5 un||U||6||6||1||6||4||1|
|4/7/2013||IWAKUMA(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||3-4||L||155||7 ov||P||7||7||0||5||1||1|
|4/19/2013||SAUNDERS(L)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)|| |
|4/20/2013||MAURER(R)||@ TEXAS||TEPESCH(R)|| |
|4/21/2013||HARANG(R)||@ TEXAS||GRIMM(R)|| |
|4/22/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ HOUSTON||PEACOCK(R)|| |
|4/23/2013||IWAKUMA(R)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)|| |
|4/24/2013||SAUNDERS(L)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)|| |
|4/25/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|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.
|SEATTLE: HITTING: C/DH JESUS MONTERO was brought over from the Yankees to hit in the heart of the order. At age 22, his offensive potential is scary. OF ICHIRO SUZUKI is entering the twilight of his career, but he might still have another .300 season left. 2B DUSTIN ACKLEY is the kind of line-drive hitter who fits well in Safeco, but he needs to catch up to MLB pitching. 1B JUSTIN SMOAK has disappointed, but he's making strides and has 30-HR upside. OF CASPER WELLS could play everyday. He won't hit for average, but has the power Seattle needs. MIKE CARP figures to at least grab early at-bats against righties. He'll strike out, but has lots of power. OF FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ is out for at least a month with a pectoral injury, but will reclaim his starting gig based on his defense. Seattle would love to see OF MICHAEL SAUNDERS step up to replace Gutierrez, but he's shown no signs of being able to handle MLB pitching. C MIGUEL OLIVO still has solid power, but he's an all-or-nothing hitter. 3B CHONE FIGGINS isn't quite done, but he's close. He'll have to battle line-drive hitting KYLE SEAGER for a job. SS BRENDAN RYAN will stick around for defense, but his bat is barely good enough for a regular gig. |
STARTING PITCHING: FELIX HERNANDEZ had a touch of bad luck last year, but he's one of the few pitchers in baseball who's a lock for 200 strikeouts. JASON VARGAS just keeps throwing strikes and letting his defense make plays. He'll get by fine again in spacious Safeco. BLAKE BEAVAN doesn't have a strikeout pitch, but he'll make few mistakes and get some outs thanks to a strong defense. HECTOR NOESI, who also came over from New York with Montero, isn't a big strikeout pitcher, but has good control and is savvy enough to get his shot in Seattle's rotation this year. 37-year-old journeyman KEVIN MILLWOOD will fill out the fifth spot in the rotation after a solid spring. Top prospect DANNY HULTZEN could break into the bigs in 2012. The lefty has the polish of a big leaguer right now, though his ceiling is more good-not-great.
RELIEF PITCHING: Like many rebuilding teams, the Mariners will continue to shop their closer. BRANDON LEAGUE will pick up saves in Seattle, but he's more of a groundball pitcher than a strikeout artist. He'd likely be ticketed for a set-up role elsewhere. If League is traded, the closer role is wide open. SHAWN KELLEY came back from Tommy John surgery late last year and looked as good as ever. If he picks up where he left off last year, he'd be an obvious choice for ninth inning duties. CHANCE RUFFIN, part of the Doug Fister trade, has a strong minor-league track record. He could carve out a big role in this bullpen if he can improve his command.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (DETROIT-SEATTLE) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Tigers-Mariners Preview* =========================
By NOEY KUPCHAN STATS Writer
Detroit (9-5) at Seattle (6-10), 3:40 p.m. EDT
The Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners just treated fans to a pitchers' duel, and runs could be at a premium again in Thursday's series finale.
Justin Verlander takes the hill against Hisashi Iwakuma as the surging Tigers try to sweep the Mariners in Seattle for the first time in seven years.
Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez both struck out 12 and baffled the opposition for eight innings Wednesday before Detroit (9-5) finally broke through in the 14th and hung on to win 2-1. Catcher Brayan Pena drove in the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded groundout, then held onto Prince Fielder's relay throw and absorbed a home plate collision with Justin Smoak to record the game's final out.
The Tigers and Mariners' struggles at the plate weren't just against Scherzer and Hernandez. It was only the second time in major league history that both teams had more than 18 strikeouts, with Detroit fanning 21 times and Seattle 19.
"I'm not much for those kind of records. All I know we are 2-0 the last two nights and that's all that matters, that column with the Ws and Ls," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
The Tigers, who took Tuesday's series opener 6-2, have limited opponents to seven runs and a .176 average during a four-game winning streak. Detroit hasn't recorded a sweep at Safeco Field since April 21-23, 2006.
The Tigers have to like their chances of keeping things going behind Verlander (2-1, 1.96 ERA), who allowed three hits and struck out six over six innings of one-run ball Saturday in a 7-3 win at Oakland.
"He did what he normally does," Athletics manager Bob Melvin told MLB's official website. "He did throw a lot of behind-in-the-count offspeed pitches, which he can do. That's the mark of a good pitcher."
While Verlander has compiled a 0.36 ERA in winning his last four regular-season road starts dating to last year, he's been knocked around a bit during his last four visits to Seattle. Detroit's ace has gone 1-3 with a 5.20 ERA over that stretch.
Verlander, though, has won three of his last four starts against the Mariners (6-10) overall while compiling a 2.67 ERA and striking out 34 in 27 innings. He'll need to be wary of Kendrys Morales, who's gone 7 for 18 with a homer and three doubles in their matchups.
Iwakuma (2-0, 2.18) is coming off an impressive performance of his own, yielding one run and three hits over 6 2-3 innings opposite Yu Darvish in Friday's 3-1 win over Texas.
"We didn't even use his curveball," batterymate Kelly Shoppach said. "I couldn't find a spot to use it, everything else was so good. ... The way he commanded every pitch to both sides of the plate was pretty special."
Iwakuma was removed after throwing just 90 pitches due to a blister on his pitching hand, but he doesn't expect to be hindered Thursday.
"That was something I had to think about being on the mound. But I'll be ready, I have five days of rest this time. I should be ready for my next start," he said.
In his only career appearance against Detroit, Iwakuma allowed one run, three hits and struck out five over three innings of relief May 7.
He'll surely be looking to add to Fielder's recent woes. The slugging first baseman, who entered Tuesday batting .429, has gone 0 for 11 with nine strikeouts over the last two days.
Despite taking the first two in this series, Detroit is 5-10 over its last 15 matchups versus Seattle.
|Last Updated: 4/30/2017 3:35:43 PM EST|