The Detroit Tigers scored a big win on Friday night when they beat the visiting New York Yankees with a 3-2 extra-innings victory to open up the two-game series. Now on Saturday afternoon, the team gets a shot at starting another winning streak and a series win against the always-hated Yankees.
The Bronx Bombers enter the game with a record that is not quite reflective of the quality of talent on the team as they have started off a bit slow in 2021. Their offense has been pretty much middle-of-the-pack so far despite some heavy hitters in the lineup and can be expected to heat up a bit as summer kicks in. As for the pitching, here is a look at Saturday’s starting matchup.
Detroit Tigers (20-31) vs. New York Yankees (29-22)
Time/Place: 4:10 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Site: Pinstripe Alley
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: RHP Spencer Turnbull (3-2, 3.12 ERA) vs. RHP Deivi García (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
Game 52 Pitching Matchup
After his May 18 no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners, Spencer Turnbull became a much more familiar name around the league. But the fact is, the Red Bull was already having a pretty good season when he threw the eighth no-no in franchise history and has emerged as a cornerstone of the Tigers' starting rotation. However, in his one start since his amazing feat, the right-hander returned to Earth a bit with a six-inning effort in which he gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three — good enough for the quality start but not good enough for the win, as he took a no-decision in Detroit’s loss that day.
On the mound opposite of the Bull is Deivi García, who is starting just his second game in 2021. He started all six of his appearances last season for the Yankees as a late-season call-up, putting up a 4.98 ERA, 4.15 FIP and 1.19 WHIP in 34 1⁄3 innings pitched as a 21-year-old. In his lone MLB start this spring, he tossed four innings giving up two runs on three hits — including a home run — and three walks while striking out four over 65 pitches against the Baltimore Orioles. It is hard to tell if García is stretched out for more innings at this point or if the Yankees are thinking of a bullpen day.
García has a four-pitch arsenal at his disposal, headlined by a four-seam fastball sitting at 93.3 mph that he has used 35.5 percent of the time in 2021 — the velo representing nearly a 2 mph increase while his usage is nearly 20 percent lower than in 2020. He also features a slider (82.7 mph) that he uses 29.2 percent, a curveball (76.7 mph) he uses 20 percent and a changeup (83.8 mph) that he uses 12.3 percent of the time. So far, he has shown a tendency to pound the plate inside to left-handed hitters with the fastball and slider while scattering his other two offerings.
Key Matchup: Detroit’s offense vs. Deivi García
The Yankees send a greenhorn hurler to the hill who has only pitched once this year and had limited appearances in his debut season against major league competition. While the Tigers’ offense often leaves a lot to be desired, a lineup of professional hitters should be able to fluster the 22-year-old and knock him out early. Of course, if they can score seven runs against New York, the Red Bull should be able to keep its offense at bay enough for the good guys to secure their second-straight win and a series win over the pinstriped baddies from the Bronx.