(note: This is a guest post offered up by Motor City Bengals contributing author Zac Snyder. Since we don’t get to see many American League teams, Zac has been gracious enough to give us an introduction to the Detroit Tigers. To complete the trade, I sent a Mets Introduction to Zac.)
By Zac Snyder
Tuesday – Justin Verlander (8-4, 3.54) had not been striking out batters with the same regularity as he did in 2009 until his last start against the Nationals. Verlander struck out a season high 11 batters in eight innings to run extend his personal winning streak to three games. JV is a workhorse type pitcher and has thrown at least 100 pitches in 12 straight games and has gone over 115 pitches eight times this season. Justin has an effective curveball and change up to compliment his upper 90’s fastball. If the weather is warm and he’s feeling loose, don’t be surprised to see triple digits on the gun.
Wednesday – Jeremy Bonderman (3-4, 4.06) may only have three wins on the season but he has pitched well enough to deserve two or three more. He has been successful this season because of the late life on his fastball and the ability to keep the ball down in the zone. Jeremy has the ability to neutralize the advantage of a left handed hitter facing a right handed pitcher with his slider that drops down and in. On the negative side, opposing hitters have slugged five home runs in Bonderman’s last four games.
Thursday – Armando Galarraga (2-1, 3.32) is coming off his worst pitching performance since gaining national fame for his near perfect game. Armando gave up a four run lead and couldn’t get out of the fifth inning last Friday against the Diamondbacks. Blame could go to a lack of command of his slider, general tentativeness, or the D’backs lineup that featured a heavy number of left handed hitters. Galarraga doesn’t feature an overpowering fastball but instead relies on location and good bite on his slider. If the slider isn’t working, Galarraga is generally in for a tough night.
Hot: Magglio Ordonez is riding a ten game hitting streak in which he has collected 19 total hits. He is shedding the “Singglio” nickname he earned last season by hitting with renewed power in 2010; this has been seen on the current hitting streak as those 19 hits include 5 doubles, a triple, and two home runs. Magglio hit just nine home runs and drove in 50 runs in his 465 at-bats in 2009 but he has already hit nine home runs and driven in 47 in just 228 at-bats in 2010.
Not: Johnny Damon had a 15 game hitting streak early in the season but he has cooled off significantly and has just two hits in his last 23 at-bats. Not known for his arm, Damon may log some time riding pine while the Tigers visit some National League parks.
Name to Remember: Brennan Boesch is only 46 games into his Big League career but he has already shown he belongs in the show. Boesch is the AL Rookie Triple Crown leader with a .337 batting average to go along with 10 HR and 36 RBI. Not many of those home runs are cheapies either; Boesch has legitimate power with the ability to hit some of the most impressive shots you’ll see. Brennan also possesses a strong arm and the ability to run much better than expected for a person that stands 6’6”.