clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game 72 Preview: Tigers at Pirates

New, 31 comments
June 20, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) gives a thumps up from the dugout during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
June 20, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) gives a thumps up from the dugout during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit Tigers (34-37) at Pittsburgh Pirates (38-32)

Time/Place: 1:30 p.m., PNC Park

SB Nation Blog: Bucs Dugout

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

Pitching Matchup: Justin Verlander (7-4, 2.57 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (3-6, 4.12 ERA)

Correia has improveed slightly since he faced the Tigers on May 20th, lowering his ERA from 4.50 to 4.12 in five starts. He is 2-1 during that stretch with only one quality start (6 1/3 IP, 2 ER vs. the Chicago Cubs). He continues to be prone to the home run ball, allowing 12 this season and six in the five starts since we last faced him. He hasn't topped 100 pitches thrown in a start since the beginning of May, so a concerted effort to drive up his pitch count should get the offense into Pittsburgh's bullpen fairly early.

There's only one Taco Bell in Pittsburgh (according to Google), but luckily for Mr. Verlander, it's less than a mile from PNC Park. Personally, I'd recommend a Primanti Bros. sandwich at the stadium, but we all know how Verlander gets on days that he starts. I don't think I need to remind you of what happened the last time he faced the Pirates. Unfortunately, with how bad the offense has been this series, we might need a repeat of that performance today.

Outlook

As noted above, the offense has stunk up the joint in the past two games. They have 8 hits in the entire series, a number that Pittsburgh has matched in each game itself. While four hits might actually be enough to get the job done today with Verlander on the mound, I don't want to have to endure the frustration that would accompany a game like this. Both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder were able to snap out of their hitless streaks yesterday. It would be nice if they could get some help this time around.

Prediction

Justin Verlander is great at many things. Hitting is not one of them. Another 0-fer season for JV at the plate.

Gameday Reading:

Pirates 4, Tigers 1 - Bucs Dugout, Charlie Wilmoth
"The Pirates took yet another game from the Tigers, winning 4-1 thanks to an excellent outing by Brad Lincoln and a three-run bomb by Andrew McCutchen."

Detroit Tigers spending too much time tipping their caps, not enough time producing runs - MLive, Chris Iott
"But raise your hand if you thought Austin Jackson, a leadoff hitter who has averaged more than a strikeout per game throughout his young career, would be third on the team in RBIs with the All-Star break just around the corner."

Max Scherzer Gives Tigers Gutsy Performance, Teammates Turn Yet Another Mediocre Pitcher Into Cy Young - Walkoff Woodward, Alexandra Simon
"The Tigers’ offense was cold yet again, managing only two hits and one run against Brad Lincoln—the same Brad Lincoln who was in danger of being demoted to the bullpen following a string of poor starts—through 6+ innings."