Zack Greinke (10-4, 2.00) vs. Luke French (0-0, 2.35), 7:05 p.m. EST
After winning last night and evening up this series with the Royals, can the Tigers get themselves a series win while facing perhaps the best pitcher in the American League this season?
In two starts against Detroit this year, Zack Greinke has been outstanding. (Of course, he's looked great against almost every team he's faced.) He's pitched two complete games, allowing just one earned run in total. (That's an 0.50 ERA if my calculations are correct. But they often aren't.) Greinke lost in his last outing, giving up four runs (two earned) and nine hits to the White Sox over six innings. And he admitted he's feeling a bit fatigued. But with one last start before the All-Star break (and a likely starting nod), he'd surely like to finish strong.
In 10 career appearances at Comerica Park, Greinke has a 6-2 record and 2.66 ERA.
Congratulations, Luke French. For the second major league start of your career, you're matched up against Zack Greinke. But French performed respectably in his first start, last week against the Twins, which made Jim Leyland's decision to pull him with one out remaining in the fifth inning rather perplexing. (I mean, really, what was that? "Good job on striking out Justin Morneau with two runners on base, kid. You're coming out.")
We're not saying he was great, having allowed two runs, six hits, and two walks in 4.2 innings, but he was in line for the win. Leyland said afterwards that French looked "rusty" after a 10-day span between appearances. Now that he's back on a regular schedule, perhaps he'll be sharper.