|DETROIT ( VERLANDER )|
HOUSTON ( HUMBER )
|927||DETROIT||-250||Ov 8,+100||-270||Ov 8,-120|
|928||HOUSTON||+225||Un 8,-120||+235||Un 8,+100|
|vs Right-handed Starters||15-7||+5.3||14-8||5.4||0.288||0.353||3.7||0.233||0.293|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+3.8||3-4||6.9||0.295||0.357||3.0||0.198||0.249|
|vs Right-handed Starters||5-17||-10||12-8||3.6||0.242||0.291||5.9||0.303||0.367|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-3.9||5-2||3.7||0.247||0.288||6.7||0.317||0.386|
|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)||17-2||W||-200||8 un||O||21||9||0||6||4||1|
|5/5/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ HOUSTON||HUMBER(R)|| |
|5/7/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ WASHINGTON||ZIMMERMANN(R)|| |
|5/8/2013||FISTER(R)||@ WASHINGTON||HAREN(R)|| |
|5/12/2013|| ||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)|| |
|5/12/2013|| ||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 JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
Detroit (17-11) at Houston (8-22), 4:10 p.m. EDT
Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and the rest of the Detroit Tigers are off to a better start than a year ago when they won the AL pennant.
With their slugger coming off one of the best performances of his career and their ace on the mound, the visiting Tigers try to complete a four-game sweep of the lowly Houston Astros on Sunday.
Cabrera homered twice and matched a career high with six RBIs as Detroit (18-11) won for the ninth time in 11 games, 17-2 on Saturday. Victor Martinez had four RBIs and Torii Hunter added four hits for the Tigers, who pounded out 21 hits en route to their highest-scoring game since an 18-2 rout of the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 4, 2011.
"(Cabrera's) awful good; that's in the books," manager Jim Leyland said. "Obviously he's a special player, but a lot of guys did well."
Now leading the majors with 36 RBIs and a .390 average after winning the AL Triple Crown last year, Cabrera has hit .472 with 19 RBIs over his past 14 games and has four homers in the last seven. He homered in both of his at-bats last year against Philip Humber, Houston's scheduled starter for Sunday.
Cabrera's run to AL MVP honors helped Detroit rally in September to win the Central Division despite being 15-14 at this point last year. The Tigers appear to be a more confident team early this season and are off to their best start since 2007.
"What you witnessed was why they were the American League champions last year," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "They rolled out their A game, and it was pretty impressive."
Hunter also has been impressive in his first year with Detroit, hitting .361 overall and recording seven of his 16 RBIs in his last nine contests.
Verlander (3-2, 1.83 ERA), meanwhile, overcame a blister on his thumb to record the best April of his stellar nine-year career. He allowed no more than one earned run in four of six starts.
The right-hander has gone seven innings in three straight outings but got his first win in that span Tuesday, yielding a run and striking out eight in a 6-1 victory over Minnesota. Prior to this season, Verlander never had an ERA below 2.41 for the month of April.
"Everybody's talking about my velocity being down, but yet I threw the best I have in April," he told the Tigers' official website.
Verlander is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA in two starts against the Astros (8-23) but has not faced them since 2009.
He'll face a Houston team that has been outscored 41-16 and struck out 55 times during a five-game skid.
Catcher Carlos Corporan homered Saturday for the Astros, who managed six hits overall and three in eight innings off Detroit's Max Scherzer while losing for the ninth time in 10 games. It was the club's most lopsided defeat since a 19-3 loss to Colorado on Sept. 25, 2011.
"The calendar rolls tomorrow, this game is over, and we'll come back (Sunday) focused on the next game," Porter said.
Humber (0-6, 7.58) has allowed 10 runs, 14 hits - including five homers - in 8 2-3 innings while going 0-2 in two starts against the Tigers.
While Verlander enjoyed a strong first month, Humber joined Dave Stewart in 1984 as the only pitchers since 1900 to lose six games in April.
However, the right-hander felt he made some strides in his last outing despite allowing four runs and nine hits with four wild pitches in six innings of a 7-4 loss at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.
"I feel like I threw the ball well. I'm a little bit frustrated, but it's part of the game," Humber said. "Just keep working harder, keep getting better."
Corporan has appeared in only seven games since April 13 but has gone 10 for 25 with two homers, a double and five RBIs.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 10:55:21 PM EST|