Detroit Tigers (26-31) at Cincinnati Reds (31-25)
Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Great American Ball Park
SB Nation Blog: Red Reporter
Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.86 ERA) vs. Mat Latos (4-2, 4.91 ERA)
Latos hasn't yet proven to be the bonafide ace that the Reds were expecting when they sent a king's ransom to the San Diego Padres for him last December, but it's still early. He's only 24 and has shown flashes of brilliance, such as when he shut out the San Francisco Giants for 7 innings back in April. His last couple starts haven't gone quite as swimmingly, however. He gave up 5 runs against the Colorado Rockies in 7 1/3 innings on May 27th, but still came away with the win. He got shellacked in his last start, giving up 7 runs in just 3 1/3 innings against the Houston Astros.
Latos has a fastball that sits at 93-94 mph, a slider that he relies on about 22% of the time that sits in the mid-80s, and a changeup and curveball that are used sparingly. Despite the heavy reliance on his fastball, he gets quite a few strikeouts; his K/9 ratio is a healthy 8.09, and this is down from his career mark of 8.58. Where Latos has gotten into trouble this season is giving up too many home runs -- which makes sense when you consider that he no longer pitches in PETCO National Park in half of his starts.
Porcello should have gotten his fourth win of the season in his last start against the New York Yankees, but thanks to Jose Valverde he was stuck with a no decision despite giving up just one run in 6 innings. He looked like he was back to April Porcello (minus the game against the Texas Rangers, of course), jamming hitters inside with his two-seam fastball. He has had some decent success in interleague play throughout his career, with a 6-3 record and 4.70 ERA.
Don't pitch to Joey Votto, please
Because his numbers are bananas. .354/.477/.620 with 9 home runs and 35 RBIs.
Yesterday's win was nice, but otherwise the Tigers have zero momentum heading into this series. We've seen worse Tigers teams dominate the National League, then we saw last season's team struggle mightily. Curmudgeons like Kurt don't like interleague, but I'm fairly indifferent to it. Except pitchers hitting. I hate it when pitchers hit. TL/DR: this one is tough to predict. The Tigers touched up one "ace" yesterday. Hopefully they can do the same tonight.
Rick Porcello gets a hit.