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Game 14 Preview: Tigers and Rockies to play two after rainout

Inclement weather on Friday rained out the opening game of the three-game series in Detroit.

Colorado Rockies v Detroit Tigers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers had their weekend series opener against the Colorado Rockies rained out on Friday night, which means the fans are in for a doubleheader on Saturday now that Mother Nature is playing along. The forecast has the mercury rising into the high 70s with very little chance of precipitation and plenty of sunshine, setting the stage for a great day for America’s pastime.

A rare meeting between two interleague foes is the setting for Miguel Cabrera’s historic hit chase as he currently sits at No. 2,999 — right on the cusp of an even number that will put him in an elite class of the game’s greatest players. But that is not the only big deal on Saturday, as one of the Tigers’ late-round draft picks gets set to make his major league debut in the second game.

Check out our preview from yesterday for a look at the opening game pitchers, as Tarik Skubal and Antonio Senzatela are slated to face off in the early tilt. Included below are the two hurlers set to face off on the mound later on.

Detroit Tigers (5-7) vs. Colorado Rockies (8-4)

Time/Place: 1:10 p.m., 6:40 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Site: Purple Row
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup:
Game 1: LHP Tarik Skubal (0-1, 3.72 ERA) vs. RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-0, 2.16 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Beau Brieske (0-1, 4.50 ERA AAA) vs. LHP Austin Gomber (0-1, 7.00 ERA)

Game 14 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Brieske (AAA) 10.0 22.0 7.3 5.20 -
Gomber 9.0 14.0 14.0 5.15 0.0

Beau Brieske gets the callup from Toledo for his first cup of major league coffee on Saturday. The former 27th-round pick by the Tigers in the 2019 MLB draft out of Colorado State-Pueblo rose through the system rather quickly despite missing the 2020 season due to the COVID shutdown. Standing at 6-foot-3-inches and weighing 180 pounds, the 24-year-old mainly features a fastball-changeup combination — the latter a legit big-league offering — with a curveball that has been emerging but not quite ready yet for prime time.

His career numbers in the minor stretching back to 2019 add up to a 12-6 record with a 3.22 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, starting 23 of the 34 appearances he made which included a complete-game shutout and two saves in five games finished over 137 minor league innings. Brieske struck out 10.2 batters while allowing seven hits and 2.4 walks per nine innings and surrendering 0.7 dingers per. Hopefully, the success he saw in the lower levels of the sport translates into the big time.

Austin Gomber is looking to get things going after a bit of a rough start in 2022. Now in his fourth MLB campaign, he had a pair of short stints in 2018 and 2020 with the St. Louis Cardinals before being traded ahead of spring training in 2021. The former fourth-round pick in the 2014 MLB draft by the Cards put up a 4.53 ERA, 4.61 FIP and 1.24 WHIP over 115 13 innings, stringing together a 9-9 record in 23 appearances — all starts — for his new team, earning a spot in the rotation again in 2022.

Gomber gets by using a four-pitch arsenal headlined by a four-seam fastball (90.8 mph), slider (83.1 mph), changeup (82.3 mph) and curveball (75.7 mph) which he employs respectively, with the fastball seeing usage 47.8% of the time in 2022, according to Baseball Savant. So far, his proclivities mirror those from last season, though the fastball and slider are getting leaned on a bit more heavily while the change and curve are seeing less usage. In terms of 2022 MLB Percentile Rankings, the Rockies’ starter only excels in hard-hit percentage, in which he ranks in the 73rd percentile.

Key Matchup: Miguel Cabrera vs. history

You figure Miggy has got to get his 3,000th hit in one of the two games today, and to be honest, Saturday is the perfect setting for the historic milestone: at home in front of a weekend crowd with Tigers fans all around the world able to tune in and watch the magic happen. It would certainly be a shame if he goes oh-fer, but at least there is still a Sunday game to get it done in Detroit if he does.