Series Preview: A look into the Mirror Universe with Detroit
A scuffling Tigers squad comes to town to face a Sox team that is starting to click.
Oh, what could have been. When Rick Renteria was fired in October of 2020, we all had dreams of AJ Hinch on the South Side – including yours truly. However, it wasn’t meant to be. Tony La Russa was hired instead, leaving AJ Hinch to join division rivals the Detroit Tigers. He took Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter with him, who was rumored to have been Hinch’s pick had the Sox hired him as well.
A three-game series with the Tigers this week will give us a look into an alternate timeline where the Sox hired Hinch and Fetter. While their stable and modern approach to baseball might be something Sox fans still crave from the bench, we also get a look at the mirror universe and compare Detroit’s ROSTER as well. Simply put, the Tigers are not good. They sit at 7-16 after a four-game sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals. Detroit sits at the bottom of the AL in fWAR in both Pitching (14th) and Offense (Dead Last).
Tuesday, April 27 @ 5:10 pm CDT
• RHP Lucas Giolito (1-1, 5.79 ERA) vs. RHP Jose Urena (0-3, 4.57 ERA)
• Giolito looks to bounce back from a rough start (and what I could imagine was a rough wake-up call at the team hotel) against Boston on Patriots Day in the early morning when he couldn’t get out of the second inning, giving up 8 ER.
• Urena comes over after being non-tendered by the Marlins in December. While with Miami in 2017-2018, he hit a combined 26 batters and is currently 41st among active pitchers with 39 career HBP.
Wednesday, April 28 @ 5:10 pm CDT
• LHP Carlos Rodon (3-0, 0.47 ERA) vs. RHP Casey Mize (1-2, 5.23 ERA)
• Mize was the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 and will face fellow 2018 draftee Nick Madrigal.
• Little known fact: Carlos Rodon threw a no-hitter in 2021.
Thursday, April 29 @ 5:10 pm CDT
• RHP Dylan Cease (0-0, 4.15 ERA) vs. LHP Matthew Boyd (2-2, 1.82 ERA)
• Sox fans will get a chance to grit their teeth and ask: is this is the start Cease finally breaks through? If there was ever a chance to right his ship, facing this Detroit team would be it.
• Tim Anderson can already taste the pasta: He hit 2 homers off Boyd last August.
Who’s Hot (Stats from last two series)
• Yoan Moncada – 4 G, 7 for 16, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K. Yo-Yo is slashing .375/.484/.542/1.026 since moving to the 3-Hole.
Who’s Not (Stats from last two series)
• Yasmani Grandal – 1 for 10, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Lots of BABIP bad luck, plus a new setup behind the plate to alleviate the pain in his knee, lead to Yaz getting called for the Catchers Interference twice in the same game.
• Leury Garcia – 1 for 6, 0 XBH, 0 RBI. Still trying to bunt and doing it poorly.
Keep an Eye on
Lucas Giolito’s middle finger. No, I do not expect him to flip the bird to any specific player on the Detroit Tigers -- although there are plenty of people from those early 2000’s Tiger Teams who would deserve it. However, the real reason to focus on his digits is that Lucas cut the finger on his pitching hand on a glass bottle after making the rookie mistake and assuming in the battle of Twist-Off vs. Not.
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