Game 78: Tigers (37-40) @ Rays (41-36), BEWARE THE ZIM BEAR!!

He sees you when you’re sleeping~

The Tigers will hope to rebound following a rare poor performance from their ace, Justin Verlander. Rick Porcello will take the hill vs. Jeremy Hellickson and the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.

More after the jump

Hellickson, who was a rookie sensation last year, is not having quite as good a sophomore season in 2012; his ERA is a respectable 3.45, but his FIP is 5.85 and his xFIP is 4.89. He’s also giving up 1.61 HR/9 this year, compared to 1.00 HR/9 in 2011.

Rick Porcello—well, we know all about Rick Porcello. He has a good start and then a bad one, or a few mediocre starts, one good start to get us all excited, and then he basically projectile vomits all over the field.

There are things to be encouraged about with regards to Porcello, though! He’s averaging 92.1 mph on his fastball, up from the 90.4 mph of a year previous; in fact, he’s picked up velocity on all his offerings this year. Perhaps relatedly, his K/9 is up a tick from 2011 too. He’s still not striking out a ton of guys with a 5.55 K/9, but it is an improvement over the 5.14 K/9 he posted last year.

Tigers (R. Porcello – R)

1. Austin Jackson (R) CF
2. Quintin Berry (L) LF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 3B
4. Prince Fielder (L) 1B
5. Delmon Young (R) DH
6. Alex Avila (L) C
7. Brennan Boesch (L) RF
8. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
9. Ramon Santiago (S) 2B

Rays (J. Hellickson – R)

1. Desmond Jennings (R) LF
2. Carlos Peña (L) 1B
3. B.J. Upton (R) CF
4. Luke Scott (L) DH
5. Ben Zobrist (R) RF
6. Brooks Conrad (S) 3B
7. José Lobaton (S) C
8. Elliot Johnson (S) SS
9. Will Rhymes (L) 2B

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