After tying their longest winning streak of the season at six, the Yanks have lost three straight and are now in the midst of their lengthiest losing skid of 2010. Tonight they look to stop the bleeding and salvage a chance at halving the series with Detroit.
Their hopes rest with Phil Hughes as he gets the ball for the sixth time this season tonight. Last time out he picked up the win behind seven strong innings of two run ball in Boston, although with the implosion by Josh Beckett giving up just two was overkill.
In his previous five starts, Hughes has been nothing short of excellent, allowing just six runs in 32 innings while striking out 31 and allowing 30 baserunners. His FIP of 2.77 and xFIP of 3.86 are quite a bit higher than his ERA of 1.86, based on a high strand rate (84%), low BABIP (.213) and tiny HR/FB (2.9%).
The last time Hughes was in Detroit was during his first start of last year and he pitched six shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks. The game was tied heading into the seventh but the Yankees dropped 10 runs in the top half of the inning and blew the game wide open. Not really relevant to tonight's game but fun to look back on.
Righthanded Moneyballer Jeremy Bonderman takes the mound for the Tigers this evening. After missing the better part of the the past two years due to blood clots in his Axillary Vein and subsequent pain in his pitching shoulder, Bonderman is back in the Tigers rotation this season.
He carries a 5.74 ERA but his peripheral numbers suggest that he should be doing much better (3.50 FIP). However, his numbers don't include the game he started against the Indians on Saturday which got cancelled in the fourth inning with the Tigers leading 7-6. A nasty thunderstorm saved Bonderman from an ugly line as he gave up six consecutive hits before getting pulled during the third inning.
Yes, the Yanks lost earlier fairly humiliating fashion, but that's okay. They've got another chance to find a way to win before we turn the page to tomorrow.
We've got tonight, who needs tomorrow?[Song Notes: Yeah this song is all sorts of sappy, but Bob Seger is a Detroit institution for fuck's sake. I would have used Night Moves but there was no way to chop and twist those lyrics to make any sense in this context whatsoever.]
Let's make it last, let's find a way.
Yankees: The top five in the order are the same as earlier but Swisher slides up to sixth, where Posada was before. After DH'ing this afternoon, A-Rod is at 3rd. Marcus Thames is starting, playing left field and batting seventh despite the fact that Bonderman is right handed and Comerica's outfield is massive. No love for Greg Golson, apparently. Frankie Cervelli is obviously catching this one and Ramiro Pena, fresh off of killing the Yankees' chances to win by 20% at the plate will play short and bat 9th.
Tigers: Like the Yanks, the top five in the order are the same as they were this afternoon. Ramon Santiago shifts over the shortstop, Scott Sizemore comes in at second, Alex Avilla catches and Don Kelly (real person?) plays third base.
Austin Jackson, CF
Johnny Damon, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Brennan Boesch, LF
Alex Avila, C
Don Kelly, 3B
Ramon Santiago, SS
Scott Sizemore, 2B