Game 123 Preview: Blue Jays at Tigers

Toronto Blue Jays (56-66) at Detroit Tigers (65-57)

Time/Place: 7 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: Bluebird Banter

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: LHP Aaron Laffey (3-4, 4.70 ERA) vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-10, 4.52 ERA w/ two teams)

Anibal Sanchez has not had the start the Tigers hoped he would when they traded for him. He got shelled by the Blue Jays in Toronto. He got shelled by the Yankees in Detroit. He got shelled by the Twins -- the Twins! -- in Minnesota. He did pick up one win for Detroit -- allowing two runs in six innings earlier in the month.

The Tigers gave him extra time off after his last start. To get fresh? To get his head on straight? To study what went wrong against the Blue Jays in the past and try to learn from it? The Tigers and Sanchez hope they've identified and fixed the problem. We shall see.

Laffey is another in a long line of left-handers the Tigers are facing. The former-Indian, former-Yankee, former-Mariner has allowed 12 runs in three starts this month, never making it into the seventh inning. That should be a positive for Detroit. Except you know how this goes, don't you?

Outlook:

This seems like the kind of game the Tigers to score in. It also seems like a great time to set oneself up for disappointment given Sanchez's struggles since joining the American League. Who's to say if trends continue, though?

Prediction:

Sanchez shows why the Tigers were so happy to trade for him.

Gameday Reading:

Triumph, tragedy mark new-Tiger Anibal Sanchez's life -- Jeff Seidel, Free Press
The Free Press columnist details some of the struggles Sanchez has gone through -- including the death of his three-month old son in Venezuela in 2007 and later death of his marriage.

Anibal Sanchez still adjusting to new team - James Schmehl, MLive
"We talked about where to miss," Jones said. "When you miss, you miss down. And, that was the big focus Friday (in his first bullpen session) -- just making sure we keep everything down and keep it out of the middle of the plate."

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