This is what happens when you fail to take advantage of a weak May schedule. Eventually, the schedule isn't so kind anymore, and by that time, your manager is already on the hot seat.
After getting swept last week at the Metrodome, Detroit has reeled off six consecutive victories - the latter half without Magglio Ordonez - on their way to a 3 game lead in the AL Central over Kansas City. By adding Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis last season, the Tigers were the chic World Series pick but fell to a last place finish in the division. They have definitely rebounded so far this season.
At 23-16, Detroit sports the 3rd best record in the AL, 5th best in the majors. They are also 14-5 at home, better than every team except the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Red Sox.
Despite playing their interleague series in Michigan last year, the Rockies will head to Comerica Park again for this series. Detroit swept the 3-game set from June 27-29.
Maybe Anthony Kiedis can empathize with Clint Hurdle:
"Cry me a future
Where the revelations run amok
Ladies and gentlemen
Lions and tigers come running
Just to steal your luck...
I find it when I'm slipping in
- RHCP, "Especially in Michigan"
Detroit Tigers (23-16, W6, 1st)
Friday-Sunday: 3-game series at Comerica Park
Jim Leyland has a stout lineup at his disposal that has yet to truly reach its potential. The Tigers are ranked 10th in runs and 12th in wOBA. 2nd year OF Clete Thomas has been racking up ABs in the 3-hole lately, which I frankly do not understand, though he has responded well, and even had last night's #2 web-gem.
Ryan Raburn could also see some starts in place of Josh Anderson.
Tonight, 6:05 MDT
|2009 - Ubaldo Jimenez||3-4||4.30||1.48||41||23|
|2009 - Rick Porcello||4-3||3.86||1.24||25||13|
Saturday, May 23, 6:05 MDT
|2009 - Jason Marquis||5-3||4.75||1.34||23||18|
|2009 - Armando Galarraga||3-3||5.62||1.58||33||23|
Sunday, May 24, 12:05 MDT
|2009 - Jason Hammel||0-3||4.60||1.72||20||9|
|2009 - Dontrelle Willis||1-0||3.27||1.18||5||4|
Josh Anderson (.200/.250/.333) and Placido Polanco (.286/.318/.286) have scuffled during the Tigers' win streak, and Armando Gallaraga is coming off a horrendous start against the light hitting Athletics.
Magglio Ordonez missed the last three games to be with his wife during surgery but should be in the lineup tonight. Carlos Guillen (shoulder), Marcus Thames (ribs), and Jeremy Bonderman (shoulder) are on the 15-day DL. Nate Robertson (back) returned from the 15-day DL last night.
More info to come later in the day.