Thursday afternoon, the Tigers did something odd. They won a baseball game. Derek Lowe, despite the sinking action, throws mainly fastballs in the strike zone. That’s there perfect kind of starter for the impatient Tiger hitters to feast on, and they did. Notice that once the Tribe went to the pen, the bats went silent again. This is not good.
Maybe some interleague is what the wounded warriors of Detroit need to get back to .500. Friday, they make their first visit to a National League park with a trip to Cincinnati. Here’s my uneducated look at the Reds.
FACE OF THE FRANCHISE
-Two time All-Star
-One Gold Glove
-2010 NL MVP
-Drafted in 2nd round of the 2002 MLB Draft by Cincy, 44th overall. This is the year Detroit took Scott Moore with the #8 pick ahead of Votto, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, and others. (To be fair, the Tigers would select Curtis Granderson in the third round with a great pick. Oddly enough, they took Brent Clevlen in the second round. Yes, Clevlen was drafted a round ahead of Grandy.)
-Struck out in his first MLB at bat. Homered in his second.
-Signed a 10 year, $225 million contract extension that the Reds will be regretting in a couple years through 2024.
-Career .348 hitter with RISP
-Currently leading the NL in doubles, walks, OBP, slugging, OPS, intentional walks, and OPS+. Hopefully he won't see a strike the entire series from Detroit.
-Despite his talent, a majority of MLB fans probably couldn’t pick him out of a police lineup
The Reds have one of the best bullpens in the game today. Sean Marshall, Jose Arredondo, Logan Ondrusek, Sam LeCure, Alfredo Simon, J.J. Hoover, and Aroldis Chapman have all been great. Chapman has been amazing, though. In 29 innings, he has yet to allow an earned run. ZERO. He’s also struck out 52 in that time.
So if the struggling Tigers are going to score, they need to do it against the starters of the Reds who aren’t anything special outside of Johnny Cueto.
No former Tigers, but left fielder Ryan Ludwick did spend 2006 with the Mud Hens. The Tigers let him walk, though, and he went on to St. Louis to have some decent years in the bigs.
I don’t hate anyone on the Reds. At least not until this weekend is over with. So I’m going to go with Brennan Boesch. I hope he gets stung by hundreds of bees carrying crippling bee-AIDS.
-Inbred Kentuckians that are lost
-Ohioians not depressed enough to be Indians fans or smart enough to be Tigers fans
-Pete Rose’s bookie
Votto and Jay Bruce are the only regulars on the Reds with an OPS+ that’s above 100. So if the Tigers are smart…
…as I was saying, if they’re smart, they’ll not give Votto anything to hit and make the other guys try to beat them. They need to get to the starters early and often. If they do all that, they can build some momentum back towards .500.
Plus we get to see Verlander go for that first MLB hit he wants so badly. That’ll be fun.
Until he hurts himself by swinging too hard and goes on the DL for two months.