Last Series vs.: May 22-24, 2009 (L 1-2 at Comerica Park)
In what would become Clint Hurdle's last road series as their manager, the Rockies also made it his final winning one by taking two of three over the Tigers behind strong pitching, as Colorado would outscore Detroit 10-8 across three games.
The Tigers took the first game 4-3 despite being outhit by the Rockies 8 to 7. Rick Porcello was the winning pitcher, as the then-rookie allowed just one run on six hits in six innings. Colorado made it interesting in the ninth, getting a couple of runs off of Joel Zumaya on a Seth Smith homer. However, it wasn't enough to avoid Ubaldo Jimenez from being saddled with the loss, despite pitching seven innings and striking out seven batters.
The Rockies were victorious in game two by a score of 4-3 behind a strong start from Jason Marquis, as aside from a Miguel Cabrera home run, the Tigers (with just six hits) weren't able to do much offensively. Meanwhile, the Rockies hit a couple of homers off of Armando Galarraga, with Todd Helton and Chris Iannetta going deep. Dexter Fowler also had a couple of hits at the top of the order to spark the lineup.
In the rubber match, Jason Hammel picked up his first victory in a Rockies uniform by holding the Tigers to a run on six hits in six innings. Meanwhile, four of the Rockies' seven hits off of Dontrelle Willis went for doubles, as they plated three runs against Willis in the 3-1 win.
Cabrera, who is (and was at the time) far and away the Tigers' biggest offensive force, was held to just two hits in the series.
Latest Series Results: Split 2-2 vs. Seattle, W 2-1 vs. Cleveland
The Tigers were also victorious in a makeup game vs. Tampa Bay in between the two series.
While Cabrera is indeed their best offensive player (1.021 OPS), he certainly hasn't been without a strong supporting cast in 2011. For instance, Jhonny Peralta (.860 OPS) is having his best year since his first full season in the big league in 2006, when he posted an .885 OPS in 141 games with Cleveland. In addition, they have easily the best catching tandem in all of baseball, with Alex Avila (.916 OPS) and Victor Martinez (.875 OPS) tearing the cover off of the baseball. On top of that, outfielder Brennan Boesch (.820 OPS) is enjoying a very fine sophomore season. In all, the lineup is obviously a force to be reckoned with.
Of course, with the upcoming series being in a National League ballpark, one of Avila, Cabrera, or Martinez will likely be forced out of the lineup - unless the Tigers decide to rekindle Cabrera's younger days and put him at third base or left field. My guess - and it's only that at this point - is that Martinez will be the odd man out since Avila is better behind the plate defensively.
#35 / Pitcher / Detroit Tigers
Feb 20, 1983
|2011 - Justin Verlander||8-3||2.66||0.89||105||26|
If that's not enough, the pitching staff (rotation AND bullpen) has definitely held up their end of the deal as well. Led by Justin Verlander (who seemingly flirts with a no-hitter every single time he takes the mound), the rotation has a 3.82 ERA, while the core of the bullpen (Jose Valverde, Al Alburquerque, and Max Scherzer) all boast ERA's in the 2's. Alburquerque, who is a former Rockies farmhand, has been particularly impressive; he has struck out 15.5 batters per nine innings and has allowed just ten hits in 22.2 total innings pitched.
The one caveat (outside of Verlander, who will dominate no matter where he pitches) is that Comerica Park is basically the polar opposite of Coors Field in that the numbers are completely skewed in the direction of pitchers. It is literally a hurler's haven. It will be interesting to see whether or not their pitching staff's success (again, excluding Verlander) will translate in Denver. On the flip side, their offense has obviously performed well up to this point, and Coors Field could only boost that. Combined with the fact that the Tigers will miss two of the Rockies' better pitchers in 2011 (Jhoulys Chacin and Juan Nicasio), the result could be some serious offensive fireworks.
Friday through Sunday: 3-game series at Coors Field
Expected Pitching Matchups
Friday, June 17, 2011 @ 6:40 PM MT
|2011 - Rick Porcello||6-4||12||12||0||0||0||0||72.1||72||29||29||8||22||43||3.61||1.30|
|2011 - Jason Hammel||3-6||13||13||0||0||0||0||81.1||81||39||33||6||27||45||3.65||1.33|
Saturday, June 18, 2011 @ 6:10 PM MT
|2011 - Phil Coke||1-6||13||11||0||0||0||0||63.1||62||33||26||3||19||33||3.69||1.28|
|2011 - Ubaldo Jimenez||1-7||12||12||2||1||0||0||72.0||68||44||37||7||31||62||4.63||1.38|
Sunday, June 19, 2011 @ 1:10 PM MT
|2011 - Justin Verlander||8-3||15||15||3||2||0||0||111.2||73||35||33||10||26||105||2.66||.89|
|2011 - Aaron Cook||0-1||3||2||0||0||0||0||11.1||11||5||5||0||6||6||3.97||1.50|
|2011 - Jose Valverde||2-2||31||0||0||0||16||0||30.0||20||10||9||3||16||31||2.70||1.20|