The Detroit Tigers entered their weekend series with the New York Yankees riding high on a three-game winning streak while also winning five of their past seven, including four of five from the division-leading Minnesota Twins. That pink cloud quickly turned to grey on Friday night when Gerrit Cole spun 6 2⁄3 perfect innings before Jonathan Schoop finally broke through with a single. Ultimately, the good guys took a beating at the hands of the Bronx Bombers in a 13-0 loss.
The way I see it, everybody takes a beating sometime.
The Tigers get another shot at their former AL East rivals in a matinée matchup played on Saturday afternoon, though things will not be much easier. Detroit sends to the mound its rookie hurler who is currently getting a rude welcome in the big leagues to face off with an established veteran and former All-Star. Here is what to expect from the two pitchers.
Detroit Tigers (21-31) at New York Yankees (37-15)
Time/Place: 1:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium
SB Nation site: Pinstripe Alley
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: RHP Beau Brieske (0-4, 5.25 ERA) vs. RHP Luis Severino (3-1, 3.38 ERA)
Game 53 Pitching Matchup
Beau Brieske has been having a rough go at it since bursting onto the scene earlier this season. Sure, he outdueled Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers in his second career start, but since then, the scouting reports have caught up with him and so has the opposition. Over the five games since then, the former 27th-round pick in the 2019 MLB draft has put up a 6.06 ERA and 6.51 FIP over 16 1⁄3 innings on 18 hits (four home runs) and seven walks while striking out nine en route to three losses. This Yankee lineup is not exactly the best one to get goin’ against, so today could be a tough one for the rookie right-hander.
Luis Severino, on the other hand, has been a steady presence in New York’s rotation this season, putting up solid traditional numbers while eating up innings for his team. Now in his seventh season in the big leagues — all in the Big Apple — the 28-year-old out of the Dominican Republic has tossed at least five frames in seven of his nine starts and reached a season-high seven on May 22 against the Chicago White Sox, in which he allowed eight hits, but no runs or walks, while striking out five.
The right-hander faced the Tigers once before this season back on April 10 in Detroit, in which he threw five innings of one-run ball on seven hits and two walks while striking out three to help the Yankees earn a 5-3 win. Prior to that, Severino had not faced the Motor City Kitties since April 31, 2018, when he threw six innings of three-run ball while striking out 10 to lead his team to victory.
Key Matchup: Brieske vs. the Bombers
If the greenhorn hurler lets things get out of hand early, we could see a score similar to Friday night’s. However, he showed a lot of composure against a very good Dodgers lineup earlier in the season and perhaps he still has some of that mojo left in his pocket. At any rate, if the Tigers are going to have any chance in this one, they will need Brieske to hand over the game to the bullpen with at least a reasonable score. Otherwise...