Game 8 Preview: Blue Jays at Tigers

USA TODAY Sports

Mark Buehrle returns to Detroit today as the Blue Jays try to bounce back from yesterday's loss against the Tigers.

Toronto Blue Jays (2-5) at Detroit Tigers (4-3)

Time/Place: 1:08 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation blog: Bluebird Banter

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

Pitching Matchup: LHP Mark Buehrle (0-0, 10.13 ERA) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (0-1, 5.06 ERA)

Buehrle wasn't very good in his first start of the season, allowing six runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Cleveland Indians last Thursday. Two of those runs came off of home runs by Carlos Santana (link) and Mark Reynolds (link). His fastball location on both pitches tells you how good his command was over the course of the evening (hint: it was bad). When your fastball only averages 85 miles per hour, you're not going to get away with pitches over the heart of the plate. Buehrle also mixes in a changeup and cut fastball, which have historically been his two best pitches, as well as an occasional curveball.

As you might imagine, the soft-tossing lefty has some pretty good career numbers against the Tigers. In 34 career starts against Detroit, Buehrle is 18-10 with a 3.36 ERA. However, he was just 2-2 with a 6.86 ERA in four starts in 2011 when he was with the Chicago White Sox. Last season, Buehrle was 13-13 with the Miami Marlins, posting a 3.74 ERA in 31 starts. It was his 12th consecutive season with at least 200 innings pitched.

Porcello was also victimized by the home run ball in his last start, giving up dingers to Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe in Minnesota. He was lifted in the sixth inning after allowing two baserunners, but Octavio Dotel stopped the threat. Like Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez -- and every Tigers pitcher, really -- Porcello's command seemed off in Minnesota. Of the 19 curveballs he threw on Thursday, only six were for strikes. Expect him to improve in that regard today.

Outlook

Both pitchers will be looking to improve on their first starts and will welcome the fact that this game isn't being played in a homer-friendly vacuum of a dome (Buehrle) or above the Arctic Circle (Porcello). I think today's game will be a low-scoring affair, but the edge goes to whichever starter can get deeper into the game. Buehrle gets the nod due to the fact that his righty-lefty splits are less severe than Porcello's.

Prediction

This preview becomes obsolete in four hours when the game gets postponed.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bless You Boys

You must be a member of Bless You Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bless You Boys. You should read them.

Join Bless You Boys

You must be a member of Bless You Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bless You Boys. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker