Wednesday, May 31, 2023
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MLB Preview: Detroit Tigers (16-18) at Cleveland Guardians (16-19)


TIGERS OPEN SERIES IN CLEVELAND WITH 6-2 WIN: The Tigers picked up a 6-2 win over the Guardians on Monday night. Detroit had a 13-hit attack, led by Eric Haase, who went 3×4 with two runs scored, while Andy Ibáñez had two hits, including a solo homer, his first as a Tiger, and scored three times. Riley Greene added two hits and two RBI, and Zach McKinstry contributed two hits with a run driven in. Joey Wentz started
on the mound for Detroit and earned his first win of 2023, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Four Tigers relievers combined for 3.1 shutout innings to close out the victory.

IBÁÑEZ HEATING UP: Andy Ibáñez continued to perform well at the plate last night, going 2×3 with a solo homer, his first of the season, and three runs scored. After going 0x10 in his first four games with Detroit, Ibáñez has hit safely in each of his last six games, over which he is batting 9×17 with three doubles, a home run and three RBI.

EASY BEING GREENE: Riley Greene went 2×4 with a double and two RBI in last night’s series opener against Cleveland. Greene has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, slashing .354/.392/.479 with three doubles, a home run and eight RBI. Greene has recorded five multi-hit performances over his last 12 contests.

HAASE BAT, WILL HIT: Eric Haase posted his second game this season with three-or-more hits and the seventh of his career last night against the Guardians, finishing the game 3×4 with two runs scored. Haase has hit safely in all seven games he has played in during the month of May, batting .407/.448/.667 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI.

BULLPEN BITS: Alex Lange closed out last night’s victory, walking one in a scoreless third of an inning. Lange has not allowed a run in 13 consecutive appearances, equaling the longest streak of his career. Over his last 13 outings, Lange has thrown 12.1 innings with only five
hits allowed, three walks and 21 strikeouts… Will Vest worked a scoreless two-thirds of an inning last night, giving up a hit and striking out one. Vest has not allowed a run in his first seven appearances for the Tigers this season, tossing 9.1 scoreless innings with four hits allowed, three walks and 11 strikeouts.

TIGERS AND GUARDIANS: The Tigers and Guardians continue their season series tonight. Detroit has won three of the first four games against Cleveland this season. In 2022, the Tigers went 9-10 against the Guardians, including a 3-6 record in Cleveland.

AGAINST THE AL CENTRAL: The Tigers continue divisional play tonight against the Guardians. Detroit has played just four games against AL Central opponents this season, winning three-of-four games against Cleveland. The Tigers have finished below .500 against AL Central foes in each of the last five 162-game seasons, including a 34-42 record last season.

ON THE ROAD: The Tigers are 3-1 on their current six-game road trip, which includes three games at St. Louis (2-1) and three games at Cleveland (1-0). Detroit is 8-11 on the road this season. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .221/.287/.340 away from Comerica Park, while the pitching staff has a 4.66 ERA (166.0IP/86ER).

• RHP Beau Brieske (right upper arm discomfort, 15-day IL on March 30, retroactive to March 27)
• OF Kerry Carpenter (right shoulder sprain, 10-day IL on April 29, retroactive to April 28)
• RHP Matt Manning (right foot fracture, 60-day IL on April 12)
• OF Austin Meadows (anxiety, 60-day IL on April 8, retroactive to April 7)
• RHP Casey Mize (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on February 17)
• RHP Freddy Pacheco (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on March 27)
• LHP Tarik Skubal (left elbow strain, 60-day IL on March 14)
• RHP Trey Wingenter (right biceps tendinitis, 15-day IL on April 22, retroactive to April 19)

TONIGHT’S TIGERS STARTING PITCHER – #21 Michael Lorenzen • 1-1, 5.14 ERA (21.0IP/12ER)
• Lorenzen will make his fifth start of the season tonight at Cleveland.

• Earned his first win as a Tiger in his last start in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader vs. New York (NL), allowing only one run on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in 7.0 innings…was his third career start with 7.0-or-more innings pitched and one-or-fewer runs allowed (last, May 14, 2022 at Oakland (Game 2)).

• Has faced the Guardians nine times in his career, including one start, and has a 2-1 record with a 3.00 ERA (18.0IP/6ER) and 13 strikeouts…has made four relief outings in his career at Progressive Field and has a 1-0 record with a 4.91 ERA (3.2IP/2ER) and four strikeouts.

• Started 18 games with the Angels in 2022 and went 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA (97.2IP/46ER) and 85 strikeouts…finished the season strong, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.36 ERA (26.2IP/7ER) and 30 strikeouts over five starts from September 9-October 4.


Coming off back-to-back wins to close out a weekend series against Minnesota, the Clevelanders dropped a 6-2 decision to Detroit in Monday night’s lid-lifter at Progressive Field…Guardians dropped to 1-5 in series openers at home (5-7 overall).

Cleveland’s offense struck early, as STEVEN KWAN doubled to lead off the bottom of the 1st and later scored on a double play, however the club’s only other offense came on a solo homer by JOSÉ RAMÍREZ (4) to lead off the 4th…Cleveland went just 1-for-9 w/RISP, stranding 8 runners on the night…Tigers left-hander Joey Wentz fell one out shy of a quality start (5.2IP, 3H, 2R-ER, 3BB, 5SO, HR, 92 pitches)…Detroit’s offense, meanwhile, jumped on Guardians starter TANNER BIBEE (3.2IP, 7H, 4R-ER, 4BB, 2SO, 67 pitches) for a trio of runs on 5 hits in the 3rd and one more to chase the right-hander in the 4th…Andy Ibañez and Eric Haase, the Tigers no. 8 & 9 batters, combined to go 5-for-7 with 5 runs scored in the contest.

The Guardians are 2-2 to begin this 9-game, 10-day homestand vs. Minnesota (2-1), Detroit (0-1, two-to-play) & Los Angeles-AL (3 games)…Cleveland is just 6-10 at Progressive Field (10-9 on the road), while club has dropped 13 of last 20 overall following a 9-6
start…Guardians (16-19) hold sole possession of 3rd place in AL Central, 3.0 games behind 1st-place Minnesota (19-16) and one half-game behind 2nd-place Detroit (16-18)…last season, club went 9-12 in April and 12-12 in May.

Cleveland’s 37 steals currently rank T3rd in MLB with Baltimore behind Oakland (38) and Pittsburgh (48)…the last time a Cleveland team had 37-or-more steals through the team’s first 34 games was 1996 (42)…that team went on to win the AL Central…the Guardians 12 multi-steal games this season is 2nd in MLB behind Pittsburgh (15)…since 2022, Cleveland leads MLB with 156 stolen bases, ahead of Miami (151) and Texas (149).

Since the start of 2019, Cleveland’s 161 sac flies rank 2nd in the AL and 3rd in MLB behind Los Angeles-NL (168) and Houston (174)…JOSÉ RAMÍREZ (23) is T6th and JOSH BELL (21) is T10th in MLB during that stretch…the Guardians have 11 sacrifice flies this season, T5th in the AL and T9th in MLB.

Following another infield hit in Monday’s contest, the Guardians 31 infield hits rank T2nd in the AL with Chicago-AL, behind Tampa Bay (37)…Cleveland is pacing MLB with 347 infield hits since the start of 2021, 12 ahead of Tampa Bay (335)…AMED ROSARIO (57) is 2nd and MYLES STRAW (48) is T5th in MLB over that period…Straw leads the club with 6 infield hits this season.

With a home run in Monday’s contest, JOSÉ RAMÍREZ has now totaled 85 runs, 9 triples, 28 home runs, 96 RBI, 64 extra-base hits, 51 walks and 14 game-winning RBI against the Tigers since 2017, leading all MLB hitters in each of those categories during that span…his 28 homers against Detroit leads all active MLB players… he also ranks 2nd in slugging percentage (.671), 3rd in hits (122), 3rd in doubles (27) and 4th in on-base percentage (.407) against the Tigers in the last six years…overall, in 132 career games versus Detroit, Ramírez has a .310 average (149-for-480) with 28 home runs and 109 RBI.

Ramírez is 2 runs from passing Carlos Santana (717) for 13th in Cleveland history and 4 RBI from passing Travis Hafner (688) for 15th in franchise history.

Since last season, STEVEN KWAN has turned into one of MLB’s most effective leadoff hitters, ranking highly in several categories…since 2022, his 31 leadoff singles rank 1st among MLB leadoff hitters, ahead of Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. and New YorkNL’s Brandon Nimmo (30)…his 39 leadoff hits rank 5th in MLB since debuting last year…he ranks 2nd among all hitters with 159 singles since last year, trailing Miami’s Luis Arraez (173)…he also ranks top-15 among all MLB hitters with 8 triples (T3rd), 31 infield hits (T5th), 18 3+ hit games (T7th), 295 times on base (9th), 206 hits (T13th) and a .293 batting average (15th) since 2022.

In 2023, Kwan ranks 2nd in MLB/1st in the AL with 13 leadoff hits, only behind Acuña Jr., who paces MLB with 16…he also ranks T2nd in MLB/1st in the AL with 9 leadoff singles, trailing Chicago NL’s Nico Hoerner (10)…with 31 singles so far this season, he ranks 7th among MLB hitters and 3rd in the AL behind Toronto’s Bo Bichette (34) and Los Angeles-AL’s Gio Urshela (33)…Kwan enters today with a 17-game on-base streak, the 5th-longest active streak in MLB.

This season, Cleveland ranks 4th in MLB and 2nd in the AL in swing-and-miss percentage, whiffing on just 23.3% of their swings…since TERRY FRANCONA took over in 2013, their 22.3% swing-and-miss percentage leads all of MLB, with Boston behind them at 23.1%…the Guards rank 1st in the AL/T3rd in MLB this season with just 269 strikeouts and trail only Boston (5.05) in the AL with 4.91 plate appearances-per-strikeout…since 2013, Cleveland ranks 2nd in MLB with 11,844 strikeouts and 4.98 PA/K, behind Kansas City’s 11,498 strikeouts and 5.05 PA/K.

2023 1-1 3.55 2 2 12.2 9 5 5 7 8
Career 21-16 3.69 53 52 317.0 307 140 130 78 363

2023 2-1 2.96 7 7 45.2 37 15 15 12 30
Career 56-27 3.16 120 118 748.2 655 282 263 165 861

The 2020 Cy Young winner is scheduled to make his eighth start of the season, third at Progressive Field, in the second matchup of a 3-game series with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night…the 27-year-old right-hander is making his 13th career start against the Tigers…is making this appearance on extended 5 days rest after his last outing on Wednesday at New York-AL; is 22-9 with a 2.60 ERA (83ER/287.0IP) in his career on 5 days rest…Cleveland has a 77-41 record in Bieber’s 118 career starts but is 2-5 in 2023.

Bieber is coming off his longest start of the season, throwing 8.0 innings while allowing 2R/ER with 4 strikeouts and one walk on Wednesday at New York-AL in a 4-3 defeat…he retired 12 of his first 13 batters faced before surrendering a solo shot to Willie Calhoun and another to Jake Bauers in the 5th frame, his only marks on the day…he allowed 2 baserunners in the 8th inning but navigated through it, ending his day…he did not factor into the decision after the Yankees walked it off with a single from Calhoun in the 10th inning…he has recorded 4-or-fewer strikeouts in each of his last 5 starts, marking the longest streak of his career.

This will be his 13th career start against Detroit, owning an 8-4 record with a 2.39 ERA (22ER/83.0IP), his lowest against any AL Central opponent, with 105 strikeouts and 19 walks…has worked 6.0-or-more innings in 11 of his 12 starts against the Tigers along with six double-digit strikeout games…Detroit hitters are .192 (58- for-302) all-time against Bieber…he earned the win in his last start versus the Tigers on August 9, 2022, twirling 7.0-shutout innings with 8 strikeouts and one walk…in 58 appearances (57 starts) against the AL Central, he is 29-9 with a 2.81 ERA (114ER/364.2IP) with 430 strikeouts and 82 walks.

After beginning the season with quality starts in six of his seven outings, Bieber has a made quality start in 17 of his last 20 starts,
including an 11 start-streak from July 29-September 22, 2022…his 82 career quality starts since his MLB debut in 2018 rank T4th among all MLB pitchers with Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler…he ranks 2nd in both MLB and the AL with 29 quality starts since last year, trailing Houston’s Framber Valdez (32).

Framber Valdez HOU 32
Shane Bieber CLE 29
Sandy Alcantara MIA 27
Yu Darvish SD 27
Alek Manoah TOR 27
Gerrit Cole NYY 27

Dating back to the start of 2019, Bieber has held opponents to 3-orfewer earned runs in 37 of his last 44 home starts… He has a 2.42 ERA (98ER/268.0IP) with a 10.97 strikeouts-per-9.0IP in that span… he has not allowed more than 3 earned runs in any of his 7 starts in 2023.

In 2022, the Guardians posted a perfect 14-0 record when providing Bieber with 4-or-more runs of support…in those 14 wins, he posted a 1.70 ERA (18ER/95.1IP)…when Cleveland scored 3-or-fewer runs, their record was 6-11…in those 17 starts, Bieber went 1-8 with a 3.96 ERA (46ER/104.2IP)…the Guardians possess a 47-3 record when scoring 4-or-more runs of support during Bieber’s career…the Guards are 1-1 when Bieber receives 4+ runs of support in 2023.

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