|KANSAS CITY ( SHIELDS )|
DETROIT ( VERLANDER )
|911||KANSAS CITY||+180||Ov 7,+105||+165||Ov 7,+115|
|912||DETROIT||-190||Un 7,-125||-175||Un 7,-135|
|vs Right-handed Starters||8-5||+3.6||5-8||4.3||0.272||0.317||3.3||0.235||0.302|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+2.3||3-4||3.4||0.257||0.301||3.6||0.241||0.316|
|vs Right-handed Starters||9-6||+1||10-5||4.7||0.279||0.345||3.8||0.243||0.306|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.8||4-3||2.7||0.215||0.295||4.6||0.272||0.320|
|4/16/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)||3-6||L||165||7 un||O||9||8||1||9||5||3|
|4/17/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ ATLANTA||MINOR(L)||1-0||W||155||7.5 un||U||8||5||1||6||5||0|
|4/20/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ BOSTON||BUCHHOLZ(R)||3-4||L||125||8 un||U||10||7||1||7||6||1|
|4/21/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ BOSTON||DEMPSTER(R)||4-2||W||140||8 un||U||8||5||0||8||7||0|
|4/21/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ BOSTON||WEBSTER(R)||5-4||W||140||8 un||O||9||7||1||9||9||1|
|4/24/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)||5-7||L||170||7.5 un||O||8||7||1||9||10||0|
|4/25/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|4/30/2013||SHIELDS(R)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)|| |
|5/1/2013||SANTANA(R)||TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)|| |
|5/2/2013|| ||TAMPA BAY|| || |
|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)||0-2||L||-160||6.5 un||U||5||5||0||9||6||0|
|4/19/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ LA ANGELS||HANSON(R)||1-8||L||-120||8.5 un||O||10||12||1||16||8||0|
|4/20/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)||0-10||L||100||9 ov||O||4||5||0||14||4||0|
|4/21/2013||FISTER(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||3-4||L||105||8 ev||U||10||13||2||8||10||0|
|4/24/2013||SCHERZER(R)||KANSAS CITY||DAVIS(R)||7-5||W||-180||7.5 un||O||9||10||0||8||7||1|
|4/25/2013||VERLANDER(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|5/2/2013|| ||@ HOUSTON|| || |
|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.
|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.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-DETROIT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Tigers Preview* =======================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
Kansas City (10-7) at Detroit (9-9), 1:05 p.m. EDT
Neither the Detroit Tigers nor the Kansas City Royals saw their starting pitcher turn in a great outing in Wednesday's opener of the shortened series, both struggling through unseasonably cold conditions. With Thursday's forecast looking a bit warmer, Justin Verlander and James Shields likely have better performances in mind as they take the mound for their respective clubs.
The two have started against each other twice before, with Shields and his former Tampa Bay team getting the better of the Detroit ace both times. But Verlander hopes to reverse that trend Thursday and continue his domination of Kansas City. He is 15-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 23 starts against the Royals, winning each of the last six decisions.
Detroit starter Max Scherzer and counterpart Wade Davis both struggled in the 39-degree weather Wednesday, with Scherzer giving up five runs in five innings and Davis seven in just 3 2-3, and it was the Tigers (10-9) taking a 7-5 victory.
"Pitchers need to be able to feel the ball with their fingertips - that's how they are able to manipulate it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "When it is this cold, you can't do that. I'm sure that was a big part of Wade's problem, but it didn't help Scherzer, either."
The Tigers snapped a four-game slide with lots of help from their bullpen, which threw four shutout innings. At the end was Jose Valverde earning the save with a perfect ninth in his season debut.
"This wasn't a first day - I've been here for four years," said Valverde, who signed a one-year deal on Wednesday after Detroit declined to offer him a contract in the offseason. "I just missed a couple weeks of weather like this."
Verlander (2-2, 2.13 ERA), who has struck out 29 in 25 1-3 innings, will try to stick longer than Scherzer did. He's coming off a 2-0 loss at Seattle, where he gave up two runs on a season-high nine hits in seven innings last Thursday. Both runs came in the seventh, with Kyle Seager providing the go-ahead RBI double with two outs.
"It was a bad pitch," Verlander, who struck out 12, said of the pitch to Seager. "Not taking anything away from him - he came up and jumped on a first-pitch fastball - but I didn't execute."
Shields (1-2, 3.00) didn't record a decision in his last outing but struck out eight while limiting Boston to one run on four hits over six innings, though Kansas City (10-8) lost 4-3. Shields needed 106 pitches to get through six innings and issued three walks.
"He struggled to find his control a little, which got his pitch count up," Yost said.
Shields is 5-1 with a 3.66 ERA in nine career starts against the Tigers.
Though Verlander has largely gotten the better of the Royals, Billy Butler is 21 for 53 (.396) off him with four doubles and two home runs. Verlander allowed seven earned runs with 13 strikeouts over 16 1-3 innings in his last two games opposite Shields, who gave up four earned runs over 14 2-3 with 12 strikeouts.
|Last Updated: 9/3/2014 4:10:48 AM EST|