Game 129 Preview: Tigers at Royals

Detroit Tigers (69-59) at Kansas City Royals (57-71)

Time/Place: 8:00 p.m., Kaufmann Stadium

SB Nation Blog: Royals Review

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

Pitching Matchup: RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-10, 4.38 ERA) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (9-10, 5.41 ERA)

Chen has a 5.81 ERA in the second half, but if there is one thing I've learned about Bruce Chen when he faces the Tigers, it's that his other results mean absolutely nothing (even more so than with other pitchers). So, here goes: Chen has two starts against the Tigers this season (along with a slew of others throughout his career). One -- a 7-inning outing in which Chen gave up 2 earned runs -- was very good. The other -- a rough night where he allowed 6 runs in 3 1/3 innings -- was bad. The only similarity between the two? The Tigers won both games.

Sanchez didn't silence the haters (haterz? I don't know anymore) with his last start, but he at least shut them up for a second. His extended rest period and adjustments that he may or may not have made with pitching coach Jeff Jones were just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully, facing a new offense will hold more of the same tonight. Sanchez has never faced the Royals, and Jeff Francoeur is the only player on their active roster with a hit off of him. Lorenzo Cain is the only other Royal to have faced Sanchez, and he is 0-for-3.

Dear Jim Leyland

Stop using Phil Coke in important situations until further notice, please.

Random Observation

As I read over the Royals' active roster, most of the names of their relief pitchers sound like they could easily be confused with country singers. That is all.

Outlook

Last night's game sucked. A lot. Probability says that today's game should suck less, but I went with probability yesterday and Justin Verlander decided to have his worst outing of the season. I'm sitting this one out.

Prediction

Jim Leyland gets ejected tonight. He seems due.

Gameday Reading:

Ankle injury not expected to derail Bruce Chen - Kansas City Star, Blair Kerkhoff and Bob Dutton
If Chen is scratched from tonight's start, this is why.

Are the Royals Playing Their Way Out of a Protected First-Round Pick? - Royals Review
I think it's safer to say that the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays are playing their respective ways into a protected first round pick.

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