(note: This is a guest post offered up by Motor City Bengals contributing author Zac Snyder. Since we don’t get to see many American League teams, Zac has been gracious enough to give us an introduction to the Detroit Tigers. To complete the trade, I sent a Nationals introduction to Zac.)
By Zac Snyder
Tuesday’s start will go to Max Scherzer (2-6, 6.30), who has been the Tigers most inconsistent starter this season. Max started the season with four good starts but quickly lost the feel to the point that he needed a couple starts at AAA. Scherzer responded with two dominant starts with Toledo and struck out 14 batters upon his return to Detroit.
Justin Verlander (7-4, 3.56), Wednesday’s starter, remains the last Tiger to throw a no hitter in the wake of Armando Galarraga’s “Perfect + 1” performance. The 2009 MLB strikeout king has made some adjustments as of late to pitch to more contact. His strikeout totals are down some, but his pitch counts are much healthier as a result. Verlander has lasted at least seven innings in his last five starts.
Jeremy Bonderman (2-4, 4.21) will get the start in the matinee on Thursday. Bondo has been much better than his 2-4 record indicates, even though his fastball doesn’t have the zip it did pre-surgery. The two-seam fastball has plenty of late life but also watch out for the slider that cuts down and in to left handed hitters.
Hot: Alex Avila – The catcher position has been a major offensive problem for the Tigers. That may be changing with Alex Avila who has hit .370 over his last ten games. Alex took advantage of Pirates pitching over the weekend with a three hit day on June 11 and a June 12 home run that sailed over the Comerica Park centerfield wall which stands a mighty 420′ from home plate.
Not: Magglio Ordonez – This has been somewhat of a year of resurgence for Magglio Ordonez, however a strained oblique has sidelined him for the past six games. It remains to be seen how much more time he will miss, or what kind of condition we can expect when he returns.
Name to Remember: Brennan Boesch – Every once in a while a rookie will come up and immediately look like he belongs. Stephen Strasburg has certainly been that for the Nationals while Brennan Boesch has made his case for the Tigers. Brennan got the call up near the end of April and has played so well that the Tigers moved Carlos Guillen to second base. He is 41 games into his Major League career and his OPS still sits above 1.000.