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Know Your Enemy Lite: Detroit Tigers

“We just played them” edition

Houston Astros v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

A split series with Toronto and the White Sox are once again facing the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are quickly moving up the list of “We’re playing them AGAIN?!” teams with how frequent it’s been lately. Or maybe it just feels really frequent because we saw no one else last year but regional teams.

Last Meeting

A lot of stuff happened last weekend.

The Yerminator broke his slump on Friday in a wild game that involved a lot of offense (including a second career Nick Madrigal home run). He walked it off for his team, which is really the best way to break a slump. Saturday was the debut of the City Connect jerseys and further evidence that bunting is stupid but especially when it’s against Derek Holland and causes the team to lose the game (maybe not a direct result, but it definitely didn’t help). Sunday’s win moved Tony up the chain of winningest managers to No. 2, behind Connie Mack, who lived to the ripe young age of 93.

How’s it Going?

While the White Sox faced off against the Blue Jays, the Tigers split a series against Seattle. Detroit has managed to inch up to fourth place in the division, sitting 12 games back. Jake Rogers had himself a series, hitting a towering 423-foot homer on Wednesday followed by a 413-foot homer yesterday, as well as a 420-foot shot to the wall in center for a triple. Detroit pitchers are having a rougher time, posting a FIP of 4.50 and ERA of 4.33.

Jacoby Jones was recently hit with a DFA and with Nomar Mazara is performing as expected (slashing .183/.248/.288), he might be joining Jones. Wilson Ramos is on the IL, so Eric Haase has taken over behind the plate. Permanent enemy Miguel Cabrera is at a -0.8 WAR and is slashing a .202/.274/.393 (tragic). Part of Detroit’s struggles seem to be coming from the mix of young/old/rebuild.

Is having to manage the Tigers A.J. Hinch’s actual punishment for cheating? Sure, why not.

Pitching Matchups

Tonight Lucas Giolito is facing off against Tarik Skubal. Giolito is 5-5 with a 3.88 ERA and 87 strikeouts. He lost Saturday against Detroit, in the Sac Bunt Against Derek Holland Game, so today is his redemption day. Career starts at Comerica have Giolito sitting at a 3.32 ERA. We’re all pretty familiar with Giolito’s four pitches: 4-seam fastball (45.1%), slider (16.9%), changeup (36.9%), and sometimes a curve (1%), and he has a very lovely 32.6 Whiff%. Skubal meanwhile had a career high of 11 strikeouts in Saturday’s matchup, and is posting a 3-7 record, 4.33 ERA, and has 68 strikeouts. Skubal’s pitches are all over the place, but mostly he’s been throwing a 4-seam fastball (50.6%), slider (23.1%), and changeup (9.4%). He has a curve and split in his arsenal, but rarely pulls them out. Skubal’s Whiff% is 29.5 and despite a rocky rookie season has been strong in his last five starts.

Saturday is Dylan Cease against Jose Ureña. Cease loves facing the Tigers because he absolutely dominates them. He’s 7-0 in his career, posting a 1.91 ERA and striking out 47. Cease has been throwing a 4-seam fastball most of the time (48.5%) followed by a slider (29.9%), changeup (9.9%), and curve (11.7%). Ureña gave up three runs on six hits over five innings on Sunday against the White Sox, in his first start after returning from the IL. He hasn’t struck out more than two batters since May 8 in Minnesota.

Sunday is Carlos Rodón against TBD. Rodón has gone no-decision in three of his last five, 0-2 overall with a 3.45 ERA in that stretch. During that time, he’s posted 44 strikeouts in 28 23 and a .239 opponent’s average. No run support from his team really hasn’t helped things either.

We Still Hate ‘em!

I didn’t really need to ask the question since we JUST saw them but still.