Kenny Rogers (6-5, 4.59) vs. Erik Bedard (5-4, 3.79)
After smacking around the Mariners' top free agent signee last night, the Tigers look to repeat that performance against Seattle's big trade acquisition this afternoon. I was dead wrong about the Mariners before the season; I thought they'd challenge for the AL West, a misinformed prediction that was heavily influenced by their deal for Erik Bedard.
Seattle did not give up one of their top young outfielders, one of their best set-up relievers, and three other prospects for a .500 pitcher who averages about five innings per start. Now, the Mariners are reportedly hoping they can get something in return for him at the trade deadline. Bedard broke a four-game winless streak by defeating the Padres in his last start.
It's probably worth noting, however, that Detroit is batting .293/.364/.443 against left-handed pitching.
By beating the Rockies in his previous outing, Kenny Rogers showed that his loss to the Cardinals two weeks ago was a stumble, not a fall. It was rough for the first three innings, but Rogers pulled himself together and pitched just well enough to get the win. That might also describe how Rogers performed the last time he faced the Mariners, when he gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, yet still earned the victory.
Happy 4th of July to everyone! I hope your holiday weekend is off to a great start.