After a series win in Texas where the Tigers’ bats came alive, the first game of their homestand series with the Seattle Mariners, the first game of this series started the same way as the last. This time it was Matt Manning getting chased from the game in the third inning after giving up a massive amount of runs and pretty much putting the game out of reach just as it started. Now the Tigers will turn to the starter from that first game in Texas, Tyler Alexander, as they look to try to rally back with an offensive outburst of their own.
Time/Place: 7:10 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Site: Lookout Landing
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: LHP Tyler Alexander (3-8, 4.83 ERA) vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (9-12, 3.97 ERA)
Game 130 Pitching Matchup
Marco Gonzales is the epitome of a crafty lefty. Seriously, the guy’s fastball tops out at 88.5 MPH and his strikeout rate is just 13%. Yet he has an above-average chase rate, above-average walk rate, and an ERA under 4. Gonzales features a fastball-changeup heavy pitching mix, with a cutter and curveball to mix things up. He spots his pitches quite well and plays with velocity to fool hitters. Despite the success the Tigers have had against lefties, their impatient bats could spell doom against this guy.
Taking the hill for the Tigers will be Tyler Alexander. His last game was a forgettable start. The Texas Rangers pounded him for seven runs on eight hits in three innings. Garrett Hill had to come in and provide the bulk of innings for the rest of the game, though he did a fine job. It was Alexander’s worst start of the year and broke a five-game stretch of starts going at least four innings and giving up three runs or less. For a pitcher that doesn’t get many strikeouts and relies on getting soft contact, when you don’t have your best stuff, this is the result.
Key Matchup: Alexander vs contact
For the Tigers to have a chance in this one, they’ll need Tyler to shake off his last start and find his best groove again. The Mariners don’t have an elite offense, rather their stats are more average to above-average across the board. They do, however, hit lefties rather well, with a team wRC+ of 111, compared to 103 vs righties. Alexander cannot let the game get out of hand before it begins, as it did in his last start. If he can limit the hard contact and hit his locations, he should give the Tigers a chance. Hopefully, he does and the Tigers keep the hot bats they found in Texas going.