Game 43: Tigers (23-19) @ Indians (26-17), 7:10PM ET

“I want to get a vending machine, with fun sized candy bars, and the glass in front is a magnifying glass. You’ll be mad, but it will be too late.” – Mitch Hedberg 

For some, the recent woes of our Tigers (8 losses in their last 12) has them thinking we’ve got a fun-sized Kit-Kat of a team when they thought Mr. Illitch had thrown down for a king-sized contender. To you I say, “Don’t be mad. 43 games in is nowhere near “too late” for this team to realize the size of it’s potential.”

The Tigers look to bounce (or at least bobble – you’ll get it soon) back tonight as they begin a road series against the surprise AL Central leading Cleveland Indians. A team that has also won five straight. (And Willie Mays Hayes is doing a dance somewhere in movie heaven.) The Tigers answer to this hot streak? A man who is looking like their best bet for a win these days. Max Scherzer is 5-1 in his last 7 starts. His ERA is a tad unseemly at 4.64 over that same period. And he did just get lit up by the lowly Astros (still shaking my head) but he’s got a 1.23 ERA on the road. So there’s that. Indians hitters bat a collective .222 against Max over his career and, perhaps more importantly, Ryan Raburn is 0-2 against ‘ole blue-eye.

The Indians will start Cory Kluber on the bump, who had a nice outing against the Phillies in his most recent start and has been throwing strikes early in the count, of late. I’m a fan of the Tigers being aggressive, but we all know that can turn into quick innings if we’re not on. Given our starters’ recent propensity for high pitch counts, we can’t afford to let Kluber work quickly. Filed under the column of “good news” are the following tidbits:

  • If numbers hold, Miggy should have another solid night, as he’s connected in 4 of 9 at bats against Kluber, with 1 hr. 
  • The Tigers hit .344 against Kluber overall, albeit in only 64 total AB’s.
  • DON KELLY BATS 1.000 AGAINST THIS GUY***
  • Bobble-head Max says, “bring it, Tribe”. You can see that about to come out of his mouth, right? (Nodding, nodding.)

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Our Tigers are in dire need of a win against a Francona and the boys. Despite being 2.5 games behind these jabronis, I’m still not convinced that Cleveland rocks.

Lineups after the jump:

 

Tigers (M. Scherzer – R)

 

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