Current record: 10-6
Last game: vs. Rangers. Texas clinched the four-game series with a 3-2 win, when Detroit closer Thad Weber entered the 11th and loaded the bases, handing a bunt single to third baseman Alberto Gonzalez for the tie-breaking run.
Last series against Seattle: June 9 – 12, 2011. Seattle split the series 2-2, managing only a single run in each loss. Three of the four games were started by former Mariners—Michael Pineda, Erik Bedard, and current Tiger Doug Fister.
Over two road trips and one homestand, the M’s went 6-4 against the Tigers: 5-2 at Comerica Park, and 1-2 in Safeco Field.
Toughest player: Prince Fielder. He may not be the most formidable at the plate, but with a shiny 9-year, $214M contract, he bought the spotlight for this series. To date, he’s 19-for-68 with a 0.55 BB/K rate and 4 extra-base hits.
Weakest link: Ryan Raburn. Batting a weak .073/.174/.098 through 14 games, he has gone 3-for-41, hitless since April 17 and unable to reach base in his last three games. Although Raburn made late-inning replacements in the past two match-ups against the Rangers, he hasn’t seen a plate appearance since the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Expected result: This week, my concern lies more with the Mariners’ four-game losing streak than the Tigers’ power-hitting corner infielders. Seattle’s offense looked slightly more competent on Sunday than it did on Saturday (of course, anything is an improvement over being no-hit), but whether they can successfully channel that frustration into sufficient production at the plate remains to be seen.
For up-to-date news on the Tigers, check out Motown Lowdown.