|KANSAS CITY ( CHEN )|
DETROIT ( VERLANDER )
|967||KANSAS CITY||+155||Ov 8,-110||+160||Ov 7.5,+100|
|968||DETROIT||-165||Un 8,-110||-170||Un 7.5,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||56-46||+9.3||41-54||4.2||0.268||0.321||3.8||0.260||0.320|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+3.1||3-3||4.7||0.310||0.346||5.1||0.270||0.310|
|vs Left-handed Starters||22-23||-16.8||24-18||4.7||0.267||0.335||4.2||0.261||0.319|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.6||3-4||5.1||0.289||0.338||5.3||0.290||0.339|
|8/30/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ TORONTO||BUEHRLE(L)||2-3||L||-120||8.5 un||U||9||8||1||4||5||0|
|8/31/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ TORONTO||DICKEY(R)||2-4||L||105||8.5 ov||U||8||8||1||10||6||0|
|9/1/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ TORONTO||HAPP(L)||5-0||W||-150||8.5 un||U||9||7||0||3||4||2|
|9/9/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)||3-4||L||-110||7.5 ev||U||10||7||1||5||0||1|
|9/10/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CLEVELAND||MCALLISTER(R)||6-3||W||105||9 un||P||11||9||0||12||6||1|
|9/11/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KAZMIR(L)||6-2||W||-115||7.5 ov||O||11||6||2||4||5||2|
|9/13/2013||CHEN(L)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|9/14/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)|| |
|9/15/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)|| |
|9/20/2013|| ||TEXAS|| || |
|9/2/2013||FISTER(R)||@ BOSTON||LACKEY(R)||3-0||W||135||9 ev||U||8||5||0||6||8||1|
|9/3/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ BOSTON||LESTER(L)||1-2||L||100||8.5 un||U||9||8||0||6||8||1|
|9/4/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ BOSTON||DEMPSTER(R)||4-20||L||110||9.5 un||O||8||6||1||19||4||0|
|9/6/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||16-2||W||-110||7.5 ev||O||26||11||1||10||9||0|
|9/7/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||DUFFY(L)||3-4||L||-120||8 ov||U||5||7||0||8||4||0|
|9/8/2013||FISTER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)||2-5||L||-115||8.5 ov||U||6||3||0||10||5||0|
|9/9/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||1-5||L||-130||7 ov||U||4||3||1||8||5||0|
|9/10/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||JOHNSON(R)||9-1||W||-155||9 ov||O||15||11||1||7||5||4|
|9/11/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||1-0||W||-170||8 ev||U||10||11||0||5||8||1|
|9/13/2013||VERLANDER(R)||KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)|| |
|9/14/2013||FISTER(R)||KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)|| |
|9/15/2013||SCHERZER(R)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|9/20/2013|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|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 JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
Kansas City (77-69) at Detroit (84-62), 7:08 p.m. EDT
The Kansas City Royals might not catch the first-place Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, but they remain a postseason contender.
Looking to continue their season-long success against Justin Verlander, the surging Royals try for a third consecutive victory overall and against the Tigers on Friday night at Comerica Park.
Kansas City (77-69) has not been to the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series, but it's won 13 of 18 and is firmly entrenched in the wild-card race.
"We're playing good baseball right now," James Shields told the Royals' official website after he pitched eight strong innings in a 6-2 win at Cleveland on Wednesday. "We've got a lot of character and heart on this team. We're going to try to be in it until the end."
Kansas City has shown its mettle by going 9-7 this season against Detroit (84-62), which it trails by seven games in the Central. The Royals have lost two straight at Comerica, but did take two of three from the Tigers at home last weekend.
They had four runs and eight hits in seven innings off Verlander (12-11, 3.64 ERA) during a 4-3 win Saturday. The right-hander was 15-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 23 starts against Kansas City prior to this season, but he's lost each of his last three starts versus the Royals with a 4.79 ERA.
Detroit has dropped all of Verlander's five starts in the season series, though he pitched at least seven innings and gave up two or fewer runs in three of them.
"Obviously they have a good team," he said.
The Tigers have lost Verlander's last six outings overall, during which he's 0-3 with a 4.17 ERA.
"I want to build on the positives and I feel like I made progress (the last two starts)," he said. "That doesn't mean I expect to throw a shutout next time."
Eric Hosmer is 6 for 16 with a homer and two doubles versus Verlander this year. He's batting .408 with a home run against Detroit and has 11 RBIs in his last 13 games overall.
Billy Butler went 2 for 11 as Kansas City took two of three from the Indians this week, but he's 7 for 12 with four walks against Verlander in 2013.
The Royals' Bruce Chen (7-2, 2.79) allowed a two-run homer to Jose Iglesias and four other hits in seven innings of a 5-2 win over Detroit on Sunday. He's gone 2-0 with a 2.41 ERA in his last three overall starts.
"He changes speeds and got us out in front a lot," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "You know what you're going to get with him."
The left-hander tries to build on that last outing while hoping for a better performance than his most recent at Comerica, in which he gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss Aug. 18.
In the hunt for a second straight Triple Crown, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Chen in the home victory but went hitless against him Sunday.
Cabrera is 3 for his last 23 with no extra-base hits and three RBIs.
The Tigers won their second in a row Wednesday, 1-0 over the Chicago White Sox to conclude a 4-5 road trip.
|Last Updated: 9/16/2014 4:25:53 AM EST|