|CLEVELAND ( KLUBER )|
DETROIT ( SCHERZER )
|965||CLEVELAND||+170||Ov 8.5,+100||+180||Ov 8.5,+100|
|966||DETROIT||-180||Un 8.5,-120||-190||Un 8.5,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||10-8||+2.6||8-9||5.3||0.278||0.345||3.8||0.227||0.309|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+4.6||4-3||5.3||0.275||0.324||3.0||0.217||0.292|
|vs Right-handed Starters||16-9||+4||16-9||5.3||0.288||0.352||3.6||0.233||0.290|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||-0.6||4-3||6.3||0.290||0.353||3.1||0.215||0.258|
|4/27/2013||KAZMIR(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)||2-3||L||150||9 un||U||9||9||1||6||8||2|
|4/28/2013||MASTERSON(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||0-9||L||100||8.5 un||O||8||9||0||10||7||0|
|4/28/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SMITH(L)||10-3||W||125||9 un||O||14||7||0||8||6||3|
|4/29/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||DAVIS(R)||9-0||W||140||9 ov||P||14||4||0||3||4||0|
|5/10/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)|| |
|5/11/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|5/12/2013||MCALLISTER(R)||@ DETROIT||PORCELLO(R)|| |
|5/13/2013|| ||NY YANKEES|| || |
|5/13/2013|| ||NY YANKEES|| || |
|5/14/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||PETTIBONE(R)|| |
|5/15/2013|| ||@ PHILADELPHIA||HAMELS(L)|| |
|5/17/2013|| ||SEATTLE|| || |
|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)||9-0||W||-290||8 un||O||13||8||1||4||6||0|
|5/8/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ WASHINGTON||ZIMMERMANN(R)||1-3||L||-115||7 un||U||7||9||1||8||4||1|
|5/9/2013||FISTER(R)||@ WASHINGTON||HAREN(R)||4-5||L||-120||7.5 ov||O||12||9||1||9||7||0|
|5/16/2013|| ||@ TEXAS|| || |
|5/17/2013|| ||@ TEXAS|| || |
|CLEVELAND: HITTING: SS ASDRUBAL CABRERA's reinvented swing, modeled after Ben Zobrist, likely led to his power surge. OF GRADY SIZEMORE is back on a one-year deal, so he has plenty of financial incentive to stay healthy. But he will begin the season on the DL after back surgery. OF SHELLEY DUNCAN is expected to get more playing time in replacing Sizemore, but speedy OF EZEQUIEL CARRERA is also waiting for his shot. Injuries and off-the-field issues spoiled OF SHIN SOO-CHOO's 2011, but there's a good chance he bounces back . . . OF MICHAEL BRANTLEY does everything well enough to get a regular gig in center. C CARLOS SANTANA is developing into a middle-of-the-order run producer. DH TRAVIS HAFNER can't be trusted to stay healthy or to produce power numbers. After another down year, 1B MATT LaPORTA will have to sit and watch CASEY KOTCHMAN start at first more often than not. 3B LONNIE CHISENHALL will get his chance to play every day, but dwindling production the past two years is a concern. 2B JASON KIPNIS will get first crack at second base. He's got nice pop for a middle infielder. |
STARTING PITCHING: JUSTIN MASTERSON's strikeout rate continues to decline, and he still gets hit hard by lefties. Still, his strong groundball rate guarantees he's a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm at worst. His velocity dropped last year, and there's no telling if UBALDO JIMENEZ will ever regain his early 2010 form. He's the definition of high-risk, high-reward. DEREK LOWE was a decent middle-of-the-rotation arm in the National League, but now he must adjust to facing superior A.L. lineups . . . Healthy again, JOSH TOMLIN will remain in the rotation. He's hittable, throwing strikes and relying on his defense. Former Twins hurler KEVIN SLOWEY rounds out the staff. Although he posted a 6.67 ERA last year, Slowey has exhibited pinpoint control in his career with just 84 walks in 532.2 innings, tallying a .470 K-to-BB ratio. JEANMAR GOMEZ is a decent minor league arm, but his ceiling is low (long term and in the immediate future). CARLOS CARRASCO may not pitch in the bigs this year after Tommy John surgery.
RELIEF PITCHING: CHRIS PEREZ is entrenched as the closer, but he was a bit of a disappointment last season. His velocity dropped slightly, and his strikeout rate fell off a cliff. If Perez gets hurt, VINNIE PESTANO is next in line for saves. He may be undersized, but his stuff is overpowering. TONY SIPP proved he can get out righties too, but his value is as a lefty-on-lefty guy. Ditto for sidearmer JOE SMITH, who is deadly on righties. But it would be a surprise if he shut down lefties for a second straight year. RAFAEL PEREZ has been hampered by shoulder soreness in Spring Training, but the lefty should once again be serviceable in the late innings this year.
|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 (CLEVELAND-DETROIT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Indians-Tigers Preview* ========================
By NOEY KUPCHAN STATS Writer
Cleveland (17-14) at Detroit (19-12), 7:08 p.m. EDT
Coming off another impressive performance last weekend, the Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer appears to be at the top of his game.
So do the AL Central rival Cleveland Indians, who could become all the more formidable with Michael Bourn back atop their lineup.
Looking to win a fourth consecutive start and stay unbeaten, Scherzer tries to slow down the surging Indians in the opener of this three-game set Friday night at Comerica Park.
Second in the majors with 12.36 strikeouts per nine innings, Scherzer (4-0, 3.43 ERA) allowed one run, a season-low three hits and struck out eight in as many innings Saturday in a 17-2 rout at Houston.
"I thought I did some good things," he said. "I thought my curveball tonight was even better. It was competitive every time I threw it. ... Right now I feel like I am in a good groove of attacking the zone."
The hard-throwing right-hander now tries to build on that outing at home, where he's won all three of his starts despite a 6.23 ERA. While Scherzer is 4-1 over his last six meetings against the Indians (18-14), beating them again could prove difficult.
Having won 10 of 11 by a 76-26 margin, Cleveland is clicking on all cylinders. The Indians, hitting .319 with 24 homers over that stretch, have also posted a 2.34 ERA - significantly lower than their season mark of 3.83.
Jason Kipnis, Mark Reynolds and Nick Swisher all went deep and Scott Kazmir threw six strong innings as the Indians completed a four-game sweep of Oakland with Thursday's 9-2 victory.
"Our starting pitching is giving us a chance to win," manager Terry Francona said. "We have a very good bullpen. We're playing well defensively. A lot of guys are contributing offensively. That's a good way to play baseball."
Kipnis and Reynolds have combined for eight homers and 21 RBIs during the team's run. Swisher is just 5 for 22 over the last six days, but three of those hits have left the yard.
The Indians also figure to get a boost from Bourn, who was activated from the disabled list Thursday after missing nearly a month due to a finger laceration. The two-time All-Star was batting .333 with two homers and seven runs through his first 10 games.
Division-leading Detroit (19-13) had won nine of 10 before suffering a rain-shortened two-game sweep at Washington. Matt Tuiasosopo hit a pinch-hit three-run homer, but the Tigers couldn't overcome a disappointing showing from Doug Fister in Thursday's 5-4 loss.
Detroit will try to bounce back against Indians starter Corey Kluber (2-1, 3.06). After throwing seven innings of two-run ball to beat Kansas City in his first start April 28, Kluber gave up three runs, five hits and a career-worst four walks over 5 2-3 innings Sunday in a 4-2 loss to Minnesota.
The right-hander went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts versus Detroit last year. Miguel Cabrera is 3 for 6 against him.
Scherzer, meanwhile, has fared well against Carlos Santana (2 for 20), Kipnis (2 for 10) and Reynolds (0 for 5). Among the major league leaders with a .358 average, Santana should be back in the lineup following Thursday's routine day off.
Ryan Raburn, who spent his entire career with the Tigers organization before signing with Cleveland this offseason, faces his former team for the first time.
"I'm pretty excited," he told MLB's official website. "It's going to be fun. I'm a little nervous, but excited to be on the other side for once."
The Indians are 8-28 in Detroit since the start of 2009.
|Last Updated: 9/19/2014 4:48:54 AM EST|