Archive for June 30th, 2006

Friday: 06.30.2006

An All-Star Preview This Weekend.

No, the Tigers aren’t going to see too many All-Stars this weekend, but they are going to PNC park in Pittsburgh, where the Midsummer Classic will be held, for a three-game tilt against the Pirates. The pitching matchups breakdown as follows:

Friday Jun 30 — 6:05 pm Central — K.Rogers vs. K.Wells
Saturday Jul 1 — 6:05 pm Central — J. Bonderman vs. T. Gorzelanny
Sunday Jul 2 — 12:35 pm Central — Z. Miner vs. I. Snell

Gorzelanny is replacing the brutal Oliver Perez, who was finally removed from the rotation. The Tigers could feasibly put up their third straight sweep with these matchups this weekend. Gorzelanny could benefit from being so new, but he has the unfortunate luck of going against Bonderman. Tonight, Wells is making his third start of the season after two brutal ones leading to an 11.88 ERA and 2.52 WHIP.

Offensively, the Pirates have some pop including one of the league’s best outfielders in Jason Bay. Bay is hitting .285/.401/.549 and leading NL outfielders in the All-Star voting at last check. Some may believe he is leading just because the game is in his home park, but he definitely deserves it. Bay, Carlos Beltran, and Alfonso Soriano should be the National League’s starting outfield.

Bay’s cast contains some fine pieces Sean Casey, Jose Castillo & Freddy Sanchez. The Wilsons, Craig and Jack, are also capable hitters. After that, the Pirates don’t offer too much of a challenge from any other avenues. Their best pitcher is closer Mike Gonzalez, but he doesn’t get too many chances to close out a game. He puts on a few too many (1.55 WHIP), but he has yet to a blow save this season.

Wrapping up a shortened preview since I have to go to work, I predict a series win, but play it a little conservative by saying it’ll be 2-of-3 instead of the full blown sweep. St. Louis and Houston are both markedly better than Pittsburgh and both of them were swept, but I just think that 2-of-3 is more how this series is shaping up. I’d love to see the team sweep and prove me wrong, though! A win tonight would give the Tigers a 20-7 June record.

Pittsburgh Pirates
W: 27
L: 53
RS/G: 4.5
RA/G: 5.3
ERA: 4.90
WHIP: 1.58
K/9: 6.5
BB/9: 3.9
HR/9: 0.98
AVG: .262
OBP: .327
SLG: .419
SB: 28-for-39