|DETROIT ( SCHERZER )|
HOUSTON ( HARRELL )
|975||DETROIT||-180||Ov 8,-115||-180||Ov 8,+105|
|976||HOUSTON||+170||Un 8,-105||+170||Un 8,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||14-7||+4.3||13-8||4.9||0.279||0.344||3.8||0.235||0.295|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+3.8||3-4||5.4||0.278||0.339||3.3||0.200||0.251|
|vs Right-handed Starters||5-16||-9||11-8||3.7||0.244||0.293||5.3||0.294||0.359|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-3.9||5-2||4.0||0.242||0.296||5.4||0.299||0.380|
|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||3||7||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)||3-8||L||-175||7 un||O||5||3||1||14||10||0|
|5/2/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ HOUSTON||LYLES(R)||7-3||W||-155||9.5 un||O||15||13||1||6||4||1|
|5/3/2013||FISTER(R)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)||4-3||W||-185||8 ov||U||6||6||1||9||9||0|
|5/4/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)|| |
|5/5/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ HOUSTON||HUMBER(R)|| |
|5/7/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ WASHINGTON||ZIMMERMANN(R)|| |
|5/8/2013||FISTER(R)||@ WASHINGTON||HAREN(R)|| |
|5/11/2013|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|4/25/2013||HUMBER(R)||@ BOSTON||BUCHHOLZ(R)||2-7||L||245||9 ov||P||7||5||1||11||7||0|
|4/26/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ BOSTON||DEMPSTER(R)||3-7||L||225||8.5 ev||O||7||8||0||17||8||2|
|4/27/2013||PEACOCK(R)||@ BOSTON||DOUBRONT(L)||4-8||L||235||9.5 un||O||5||10||1||12||11||1|
|4/28/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ BOSTON||LACKEY(R)||1-6||L||187||9.5 un||U||7||9||2||11||6||1|
|4/29/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ NY YANKEES||PETTITTE(L)||9-1||W||210||7.5 un||O||17||10||0||8||8||1|
|4/30/2013||HUMBER(R)||@ NY YANKEES||KURODA(R)||4-7||L||230||8 un||O||9||8||0||15||10||0|
|5/1/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ NY YANKEES||PHELPS(R)||4-5||L||175||8.5 un||O||10||5||0||9||9||0|
|5/7/2013||BEDARD(L)||LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)|| |
|5/8/2013||LYLES(R)||LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)|| |
|5/9/2013||NORRIS(R)||LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)|| |
|5/11/2013|| ||TEXAS|| || |
|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.
|HOUSTON: HITTING: This season will mark Houston's final year in the National League. Look away, children, as the Astros launch into what is sure to be the crappiest victory lap in baseball history. Tiny 2B JOSE ALTUVE's jump from High-A to MLB starter says more about Houston's pitiful state than anything. He belongs in Triple-A. CHRIS JOHNSON won the starting 3B job as JIMMY PAREDES was optioned to Triple-A. Johnson was thought to have 25-homer power, but last year he slugged just .378. 1B CARLOS LEE is in the twilight of a very productive career. Backup 1B BRETT WALLACE seems to be in the twilight of an unproductive one. OF BRIAN BOGUSEVIC has a low ceiling. But he's one of only a few recent draft picks who will even contribute. OF J.D. MARTINEZ doesn't blame you if you haven't heard of him, but he's the team's best player who hits third in the lineup. SS JED LOWRIE was a nice little pickup for a mid-tier closer. But his platoon split is intense. C JASON CASTRO will probably play ahead of CHRIS SNYDER. OF JORDAN SCHAFER has yet to put things together; but he'll be starting in center on Opening Day. Fourth OF J.B. SHUCK is only 24, but doesn't have a whole lot of upside. |
STARTING PITCHING: WANDY RODRIGUEZ has been a durable, above-average starter for five years, yet every season his real-world team limits his wins. He'll be traded at some point this year. Don't shortchange BUD NORRIS. He's an underrated source of strikeouts, and has improved his command. J.A. HAPP really needs to cut down on his walk total. JORDAN LYLES couldn't legally drink until the second-to-last week of the season. He's in the big leagues way too soon. He's yet another young Astro who isn't terrible, but won't ever set the world on fire. KYLE WEILAND came from Boston with Jed Lowrie and should earn the final spot in the rotation. Texas-bred fireballer JARRED COSART, 21, is a legitimately exciting (but risky) prospect who Houston will probably rush up to the majors at some point this year.
RELIEF PITCHING: BRETT MYERS flummoxed the Astros' front office with a stinker of a season. He's probably closer to that pitcher than to the one who posted a career-best 3.14 ERA in 2010 at age 29, but he'll move the bullpen this year to get the rare opportunities to close out a game when this awful team is actually leading. WILTON LOPEZ was good in 2011, but was much better the previous season, when he may have been the most underrated reliever in the National League. Houston will go with him in the ninth if they want Myers to return to the rotation. BRANDON LYON has seen better days. He bombed early, then was shut down for good with a bicep injury. He intimidates nobody now.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (DETROIT-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Tigers-Astros Preview* =======================
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
Detroit (16-11) at Houston (8-21), 7:10 p.m. EDT
A four-game series against the team with the worst record in the AL has done very little to slow down the Detroit Tigers.
Facing Lucas Harrell, however, just might.
The Tigers look to make it three straight against the Houston Astros on Saturday night and prevent Harrell from winning a fourth consecutive start.
Detroit (17-11) has won seven of eight, hitting .294 with 12 homers and averaging 6.0 runs while the pitchers have a 2.57 ERA.
That stretch includes a 7-3, 14-inning win over Houston (8-22) on Thursday before Alex Avila's two-run homer in the ninth provided the difference in a 4-3 victory a day later.
Avila has homered on each of his last two hits in 10 at-bats over the past three games. He's 3 for 22 over his last seven and hitting .179 on the season.
"Hopefully that will get him going, get some confidence going," manager Jim Leyland said. "That was a big one."
The Tigers' confidence may be in for an unexpectedly big test against Harrell (3-2, 3.60 ERA), who has been credited with the Astros' only two wins over the past 10 games.
That's part of a brilliant stretch by the right-handed sinkerballer, who is 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA over his last four starts. He's induced eight of his major league-leading 10 ground-ball double plays in that span.
Harrell got three while yielding one run and scattering eight hits in 6 1-3 innings to beat the New York Yankees 9-1 on the road Monday.
"I've been working on trying to get more ground balls and inducing early contact," Harrell told the team's official website. "It makes it easy for me when you know you can get a ground ball."
Harrell has no record with a 3.00 ERA in two games - one start - against Detroit, but those came as a rookie with the Chicago White Sox in 2010.
That was also the last time he faced Miguel Cabrera, who is 0 for 4 against Harrell.
The Tigers slugger is among baseball's leaders with a .368 average and 30 RBIs. He's managed at least one hit in all but one of his last 17 games, a stretch that includes batting .385 while driving in eight runs during a nine-game road hitting streak.
Max Scherzer (3-0, 4.02) is scheduled to get the ball in search of a third straight winning start. The right-hander, though, has allowed eight runs and 13 hits with 16 strikeouts in 12 1-3 innings over his last two outings.
He showed improvement Monday, yielding three runs while fanning 10 in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-3 victory over Minnesota.
"Honestly, it was my curveball," Scherzer told the team's official website. "That's a pitch I've really been working on."
Scherzer, though, is still seeking his first road win despite compiling a 1.29 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 14 innings over his first two outings. He has no decisions since both games were decided in extra innings, thanks in part to the offense backing him with four total runs.
Scherzer lost his only appearance at Minute Maid Park on Aug. 22, 2009, giving up four runs in five innings. He went 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two meetings that season.
|Last Updated: 10/22/2014 8:09:25 PM EST|