David Hernandez (3-3, 3.28) vs. Rick Porcello (9-7, 4.36), 1:05 p.m. EST
Can the Tigers get their third victory in four games against the Orioles, winning what's been a pretty grueling series. (Tumultuous, too, in terms of the roster.) To do so, they'll have to beat a rookie Baltimore pitcher, something they haven't been very good at this season.
David Hernandez faced Detroit in his very first major league start earlier this season, holding the Tigers to one run and five hits in 5.2 innings. I don't know if that began Detroit's run of making pitchers look great in their debuts, but it certainly helped to establish the trend. Hernandez has given up two runs or fewer in his last four starts, but only has one win to show for the effort.
Fellow rookie Rick Porcello wuz robbed of a win in his last start. But by giving the Tigers eight innings after they used seven relievers in a 13-inning the night before, and holding the Indians to one run and four hits, Kid Rick showed that he's not just hanging on to make it through his first major league season. If he keeps pitching like that, the rookie will definitely be a factor in the Tigers' playoff race.
Alex Avila will make his major league debut today, starting at catcher and giving signs to his former battery mate in Class A Lakeland. He'll wear number 13. Do you think either Porcello or Avila thought back then, while wearing the Flying Tigers jersey, that they'd both be in the majors in August of 2009?