Saturday, September 23, 2023

MLB Preview: Detroit Tigers (67-79) at Los Angeles Angels (68-79)


A GRAND PERFORMANCE: Matt Vierling broke yesterday’s game open with a grand slam in the eighth inning, the first grand slam of his career and his ninth homer of the season. He became the second player since at least 1955 to record a hit by pitch, intentional walk, stolen base and grand slam in the same game (other, Roberto Clemente on June 11, 1969). Vierling has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games with at least one at-bat, over which he is hitting .349/.462/.558 with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBI.

REESE’S PIECES: Reese Olson posted his third consecutive quality start yesterday against the Reds, giving up one run on two hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings. For the second straight start, Olson carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first Tigers pitcher to have a no-hitter through 5.0 innings in consecutive starts since Justin Verlander (May 7 and 13, 2011). Over his last four starts, Olson has given up just four runs in 24.0 innings, posting a 1.50 ERA with 11 hits, nine walks and 23 strikeouts.

ON THE ROAD: The Tigers tonight begin a 10- game road trip, which includes three games at Los Angeles (AL) (September 15-17), three games at Los Angeles (NL) (September 18-20) and four games at Oakland (September 21-24). Detroit is 35-36 away from Comerica Park this season. As a team, the Tigers are hitting 230/.296/.379 on the road, while the pitching staff has a 4.05 ERA (613.2IP/276ER).

TIGERS AND ANGELS: The Tigers and Angels begin their final series of the season tonight. Detroit and Los Angeles (AL) met earlier this season in Detroit with the Angels winning all three games. The all-time series between the two teams is tied 335-335, with Los Angeles (AL) holding a 163-126 advantage at Angel Stadium.


  • LHP Tyler Alexander (left lat/shoulder strain, 60-day IL on July 4, retroactive to July 3)
  • LHP Matthew Boyd (left elbow sprain, 60-day IL on June 27)
  • RHP Mason Englert (left hip tightness, 15-day IL on July 24, retroactive to July 23)
  • OF Riley Greene (right elbow inflammation, 10-day IL on September 2)
  • RHP Matt Manning (right foot fracture, 15-day IL on September 7)
  • 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 Andrew Vasquez (left calf tightness, 15-day IL on August 29, retroactive to August 28)


29 Tarik Skubal • 5-3, 3.47 ERA (62.1IP/24ER)

  • Skubal will make his 13th start of the season tonight in the series opener at Los Angeles (AL). Picked up his fifth win of the season on Saturday against the White Sox, throwing 5.0 shutout innings with two hits allowed, one walk and nine strikeouts. Made his only career appearance against the Angels on August 18,
    2021, taking the loss after giving up two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings…will be making his first career outing at Angel Stadium tonight. Since August 5, has posted a 4-2 record with a 2.88 ERA (40.2IP/13ER) and 48 strikeouts in seven starts…has a 1.06 WHIP and has limited opponents to a .216 batting average in that span. Picked up his first win of the season on July 24 vs. San Francisco, throwing 5.0 shutout innings with two hits allowed, no walks and nine strikeouts…was his first Major League win since July 21, 2022. Did not allow a run in his first two starts this season…had a streak of 27.0
    innings without giving up an earned run, dating back to July 13, 2022. Made his season debut for Detroit on July 4 vs. Oakland, throwing 4.0 hitless innings with no walks and six strikeouts…his only baserunner came on a hit by pitch…marked his first start in the Majors since August 1, 2022 vs. Minnesota.


LEADING OFF: Today, the Angels play the first of three games on a homestand against the Detroit Tigers…Halos went 1-2 on last road trip at Seattle…LAA was 3-4 in last homestand against Baltimore (0-3) and Cleveland (3-1).

TODAY’S TRANSACTIONS: Recalled OF Jordyn Adams and INF Kyren Paris from Triple-A Salt Lake…Placed OF Mickey Moniak (left back tightness) on the 10-day injured list (retro to Sept. 14)…Placed INF Mike Moustakas (left forearm extensor strain) on the 10-day injured list (retro to Sept. 14).

RECENT ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday, the Angels selected the contracts of INF David Fletcher and INF Jared Walsh.

ON REHAB: OF Jo Adell is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment tonight with Triple-A Salt Lake…Adell (left oblique strain) last appeared for the Angels on July 8.
GRICHUK’S HIT STREAKS: Randal Grichuk had his 10 game hit streak snapped on Wednesday at Seattle after going 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter…He enters play today with hits in each of his last 12 starts…The 12-game streak as a starter, is his longest since a career-high 14-game streak for the Rockies spanning the final two games of the 2022 season and first 12 games this year.

SCHANUEL’S STREAKS: Nolan Schanuel has reached base safely in each of his first 20 MLB games, which is the longest streak to start a career in Angels history (see list below)…It’s the longest such streak since Christopher Morel reached safely in his first 22 career games for the 2022 Cubs…Schanuel also set a franchise record with a 10-game hit streak to begin his MLB career.


  1. Nolan Schanuel (2023) – 20 (active)
  2. Darin Erstad (1996) – 15
  3. Kent Anderson (1989) – 11

LATE COMEBACKS: The Angels have six wins this season when trailing after eight innings…It’s the highest total for the Club since 2013, when the Angels also had six wins when trailing after eight frames.

HOME RUN LEADERS: Angels rank fourth in the Majors with 210 home runs this season…Only the Braves (282), Dodgers (227) and Rays (211) have homered more.

HEATING UP: Over his last six games, Logan O’Hoppe is batting .304 (7/23) with one double, four home runs and seven RBI…Monday night at Seattle was his first career multi-HR game and he became the sixth rookie catcher in franchise history with a multi-HR game.

WINS AND LOSSES: The Angels have won four of last seven games after losing nine of previous 10.

VS. DETROIT: Angels lead the season series 3-0 after sweeping a three-game series in Detroit from July 25- 27…Since 2011, Angels are 52-27 (.658) against the
Tigers and have won or split every season series in that span…The .658 winning percentage vs. Detroit in that span, is the Halos highest against any A.L. opponent… The all-time series vs. Detroit is tied 335-335.

45/20: With 44 home runs and 20 stolen bases on the season, Shohei Ohtani is one HR shy of his second career season with 45+ HR and 20+ SB (Ohtani had 46 HR & 26 SB in 2021)…He would join Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez as the only players with multiple 45 HR/20 SB seasons.

THE INJURED LIST: Angels currently have 15 players on the injured list and have used the IL a total of 36 times this year for 31 different players.

Has a 3.10 ERA (29.0 IP – 10 ER) and 39 strikeouts in last five starts dating back to July 17

  • TODAY’S GAME: Making 22nd appearance (20th start) of the season and 10th at home (ninth start)…Is in fourth Major League season with Angels.
  • SUPPORTED: Sixth in the American League (min. 110 IP) with an average of 6.30 runs of support per nine innings.
  • LAST TIME OUT: Took loss on September 8 vs. Guardians, tossing 5.1 innings and surrendering three runs on eight hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.
  • SELF STARTER: Has a 3.10 ERA (29.0 IP – 10 ER) and 39 strikeouts in last five starts dating back to July 17.
  • FROM THE ‘PEN: Has made two pitching appearances out of the bullpen this season…Is 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA (7 IP – 5 ER) in two outings as a reliever in 2023.
  • CURRENT TRENDS: Has allowed three-or-fewer earned runs in 15 of 19 starts this season, including 12 of last 14 starts…In last 12 starts, is 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA (73.2 IP – 28 ER).
  • VS. DETROIT: Is 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA (16.1 IP – 4 ER) in three career games vs. DET…Took no decision on July 25 at Detroit after tossing 5.0 innings and surrendering two runs on seven hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts.
  • AT ANGEL STADIUM: In 33 career games (30 starts) at Angel Stadium, is 13-8 with a 4.70 ERA (161.0 IP – 84 ER)…Is 4-3 with a 4.70 ERA (46.0 IP – 24 ER) in nine games (eight starts) at The Big A in 2023…Has allowed three-or-fewer runs in 21 of 30 home starts (10 are quality starts).
  • DOUBLE DIGITS: Notched a career-high 12 strikeouts on July 17 vs. New York (A.L.)…Second career start with 10+ punchouts (September 22, 2020 @ San Diego).
  • SEVEN SCORELESS: Earned win on May 23 vs. Boston after tossing a season-high 7.0 scoreless innings; matched longest scoreless appearance of career (also, 7.0 shutout frames on May 18, 2019 vs. KC).
  • FOUR SCORE: Has yielded 20 of 54 (37%) runs this season in the 4th inning.
  • GETTING AHEAD: Recorded a first pitch strike on 60.7% (278/463) of batters faced this season.
  • UNFAMILIAR FOES: In his career as a starter, has held opponents to a .209 average (98/470) in opposing batter’s first plate appearances of a game.
  • STREAK SNAPPED: Loss on June 30 snapped career high streak of four consecutive winning decisions (previously won three straight decisions from June 9, 2021 – May 4, 2023).
  • OVER SEVEN HITS: Allowed career high nine hits in start on May 17 at Baltimore…Was first time allowing more than seven hits in his career…Streak of 46 straight starts with seven-or-fewer hits allowed was second-longest in Angels history (Rickey Clark had a 50 game streak between the 1967-1971 seasons).
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