The New York Yankees are set to take on a Detroit Tigers team which is suffering from the same issues; inconsistency and underachievement. The Yanks (27-23) are looking to build on a 4-2 record on the nine-game road trip, while the Tigers (24-27) are returning home after a 4-6 road trip highlighted by a pair of three-game losing streaks with a three-game win streak in the middle.
The Yanks, 1.5 games back in the AL East, are 13-12 on the road this season and the Tigers, five games back in the AL Central, are 11-12 at home. The Yankees have not been successful in Detroit over the last couple seasons carrying a 2-6 record at Comerica Park since 2010.
The series begins tonight with the Yankees sending their ace, CC Sabathia to the mound. The Tigers will counter with rookie, Casey Crosby, who is set to make his major league debut. Yankees fans know when the team faces a pitcher for the first time it could pose a problem for the offense, so Sabathia will need to be at his best. Sabathia is coming off a victory in his last start, a seven inning two-run effort in Oakland.
On Saturday the Yanks trot out Hiroki Kuroda (4-6, 3.96 ERA) against the Tigers righty Rick Porcello (3-4, 5.21 ERA). Kuroda won his last start and first on the road this season, tossing eight innings of shutout ball against the A’s. Porcello is coming off a six-inning three-run effort against the Minnesota Twins in which he did not factor into the decision.
In the finale, Phil Hughes will meet Justin Verlander in the mismatch of the series. Hughes was hammered in his last start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (5.1 IP, 7 ER, 11 H). Verlander, who is not receiving much run support this season sports a 5-3 record with a 2.55 ERA. The 2011 Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player, is holding opponents to a .190 batting average. He is coming off his worst outing of the season, a six inning, five-run defeat handed out by the Boston Red Sox.
Here is a chart of the teams statistical leaders heading into the series.
Sabathia takes the hill looking to build off his win in Oakland and give the Yanks a second straight victory. Crosby, who was selected by the Tigers in the fifth round of the 2007 draft, takes the pill for his first major league start. The 23-year-old is a big 6’5″ left-hander, who according to Jon Star of MLB.com, has had two injury plagued seasons and Tommy John surgery since entering the Tigers’ system. He was 9-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 2011 at Triple-A Toledo. Below is the tale of the tape for both pitchers. Crosby’s stats are from Toledo.
Look for Ricky Keeler’s podcast preview of the Tigers’ series later this morning. In the evening, I’ll take a look around the majors with the weekly feature, Outside the Bronx.
Topics: Al Central, AL East, Austin Jackson, Boston Red Sox, Casey Crosby, CC Sabathia, Comerica Park, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Detroit Tigers, Hiroki Kuroda, Justin Verlander, Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim, Miguel Cabrera, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Phil Hughes, Prince Fielder, Rafael Soriano, Rick Porcello, Yankees