The Detroit Tigers just can’t do anything right these days. They can’t hit, they can’t play defense, the starters are getting shelled and the bullpen can’t get anyone out. Put those four factors together and you can understand why Detroit is 1-7 in their last 8 games. Over the last six, the Tigers have allowed nine or more runs five times. Ouch. There’s nowhere to go but up, right? Right? Bueller? Bueller?
Detroit Tigers (28-19) at Oakland Athletics (31-20) — 10:05 P.M. EDT
O.co Coliseum — Oakland, CA
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 59 degrees, clear
When We Last Met
Yesterday, we warned Tigers’ pitchers about the Coliseum’s different climate during day games and night games, but apparently they aren’t readers of Motor City Bengals. The long ball was flying out–for Oakland. The game was all but lost early when Drew Smyly allowed four homers. The A’s continued to tack on runs against Smyly and the Tigers’ bullpen until Phil “WHY THE HELL AM I STILL HERE” Coke allowed a grand slam to put an exclamation point on another lost day for Detroit as the offense could do nothing against Oakland’s fifth starter in the humiliating 10-0 defeat.
The Tigers need the reining AL Cy Young winner to put in a good effort tonight and give the bullpen some respite. Max Scherzer (6-1, 2.59) was hit hard by the Cleveland Indians in his last start, snapping his six-game winning streak last Wednesday. He blew a 4-0 lead, allowing a season-high seven runs on seven hits over seven innings in the no-decision. Max won two games against the A’s in the ALDS last fall, allowing three runs in nine innings. He won Game 1 and earned a win in a memorable Game 4 relief appearance. That followed a couple rough outings against Oakland in the regular season. He didn’t pick up a decision, but had an ERA near 5.
Sonny Gray (5-1, 1.99) will present an impossible task for Detroit if its hitters bring their F-Game as they brought yesterday. Gray has been dominant and one of the early Cy Young front-runners. Gray picked up a hard-luck no-decision in a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay five days ago, but he did his part, allowing just one run on five hits in eight innings of work. He pitched very well against the Tigers in the ALDS but received no run support.
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Torii Hunter-RF
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- J.D. Martinez-LF
- Don Kelly-3B
- Austin Jackson-CF
- Alex Avila-C
- Andrew Romine-SS
- Joba Chamberlain — Questionable
- Luke Putkonen – 15-day DL
- Joel Hanrahan – Out indefinitely
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – 60-day DL
- Bruce Rondon – Out for season