Cleveland Indians (56-78) at Detroit Tigers (72-61)
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Blog: Let's Go Tribe
Pitching Matchup: RHP Corey Kluber (0-3, 5.16 ERA) vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-11, 4.24 ERA)
Kluber is a 26 year old right-hander who made his Major League debut with three outings in 2011. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, so I imagine that he sounds like Ryan Raburn when he talks. Anyway, Kluber joined the Indians' rotation on August 2nd and has made six starts for the Tribe since then. He has out-pitched his ERA so far, earning a 4.66 FIP and 4.30 xFIP. He allowed four earned runs in two innings of relief in his only career appearance against the Tigers last season.
Based on the eye test from Sanchez's last two starts, it seems like he has figured things out in the American League. He only struck out one hitter in his last start against the Kansas City Royals, but his 7 IP, 1 ER outing would have been enough to win on any other night. Sanchez pitched well against the Indians at the beginning of August, allowing two earned runs in 6 solid innings.
After beating the Tigers on July 26th, the Indians were 50-49. They are now 56-78. If my math is correct (and it is), the Indians are on a 6-29 slide. On a related note, the 2003 Tigers went 6-30 in one stretch.
A day game after an emotional night game against a division rival culminating in a series sweep that put the Tigers back into a tie for first place? This just screams "letdown game." Fortunately for the Tigers, the Indians have been planning for 2013 since late July. Kluber will likely stump the Tigers for a few innings, but the offense will get their licks in at some point. Meanwhile, Sanchez looks to finally be settled in the American League and should continue his run of good outings.
The Tigers are alone in first by the end of the day.