October 10, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcherJoaquin Benoit
(53, left) and catcherAlex Avila
(13) celebrate after game five of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. The Tigers defeated the Athletics 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
One week ago, the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics were the hottest teams in baseball. What a difference one week makes. The Tigers limp in after a disastrous 1-6 week followed a 6-0 road trip to Baltimore and Boston. Oakland comes in losers of four straight after a sweep in Toronto this past weekend.
This will be the first of four games between these clubs, who have met in the postseason three times since 2006. Keep in mind, since today is Memorial Day, there will be a day game, and O.com Coliseum plays a lot differently during the day than at night. Drew Smyly and the Tigers’ beleaguered pitching staff had better take warning–the ball flies out of that stadium with reckless abandon during the day.
Detroit Tigers (28-18) at Oakland Athletics (30-20) — 4:05 P.M. EDT
O.co Coliseum — Oakland, CA
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 70 degrees, sunny
When We Last Met
The Tigers knocked the A’s out of the playoffs in the ALDS for the second straight year, and for the second straight year, Justin Verlander delivered the knock-out, shutout Game 5 victory in Oakland’s building. In the regular season series, the A’s edged out the Tigers four victories to three losses. Oakland dominated Detroit at Comerica Park last summer (much how Texas manhandled them this past weekend) and was a Grant Balfour blown save away from sweeping a four-game series. In April 2013, Detroit took two of three games in Oakland.
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Drew Smyly (2-2, 2.97) will be looking to eat some innings for the Tigers and settle down the starting staff which has just one quality start in the last seven games. Smyly appeared out of the bullpen on Thursday, pitching a scoreless seventh in the 9-2 loss to Texas. Drew was okay in his last start, against Cleveland last Monday, allowing three runs on six hits and received a no-decision, but he was constantly in and out of trouble, driving up his pitch count and forcing him out after five innings. Smyly was hit hard against Oakland in the regular season, allowing three runs in 2.1 innings of relief. He fared better in the postseason, blanking the A’s in two appearances.
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Milone (2-3, 3.99) gives the Tigers a glimmer of hope of breaking out of their recent losing ways as they have done very well against left-handed starters this season. However, Milone is pitching pretty well recently and has recovered nicely after a rocky start. Over his last three starts, he’s allowed only three runs and picked up two wins and a no-decision during that span. He started and won one game against the Tigers in the 2013 regular season, but did not pitch in the postseason.
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Looks like Ian Kinsler is getting his first day off of 2014. Miggy is indeed starting and Torii and A-Jax switch spots.
- Rajai Davis-LF
- Austin Jackson-CF
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- Torii Hunter-RF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Bryan Holaday-C
- Danny Worth-2B
- Andrew Romine-SS
- Miguel Cabrera — Probable
- Joba Chamberlain — Day-to-Day
- Luke Putkonen – 15-day DL
- Joel Hanrahan – Out indefinitely
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – 60-day DL
- Bruce Rondon – Out for season