It looks like Leyland is going with speed and contact at the onset of the Tigers final homestand of the year with Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks in the lineup instead of Avisial Garcia. With Berry batting second Leyland is looking for the ability to move around the bases in front of Cabrera and Fielder. With Dirks batting sixth the bottom of the lineup doesn’t look so rotten.
Our boy Anibal Sanchez gets the start. This isn’t a must win, but it certainly is a “can’t lose” game. Consider these scenarios:
Down two games to one the series doesn’t look so lopsided with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander pitching the final two games at Comerica.
Down three games to none, there is simply no margin for error. Scherzer would still get to pitch, but Verlander’s start would be up in the air, and the reality of winning four in a row, the final two in San Francisco is not exactly something that’s exactly realistic.
The problem with those above paragraphs is that by typing them I have put the fate of the season on Sanchez’s shoulder’s. That’s simply not a realistic expectation. Sanchez could go six innings and give up three runs and it would probably be a disappointment given the Tigers anemic offense. So, looking at this game, I would expect that the entire night will ride on the quality of plate appearances the following lineup has: