While the Detroit Tigers just got the best of the New York Mets’
ace, they face another potential difficult matchup.
The visiting Tigers go for a three-game sweep of the Mets, who
send Dillon Gee – one of baseball’s hottest pitchers over the last
three months – to the mound Sunday.
Max Scherzer outdueled Matt Harvey in a rematch of All-Star game
starters, leading Detroit (76-53) to a 3-0 win Saturday. Scherzer,
who joined Rube Marquard in 1912 and Roger Clemens in 2001 as the
only pitchers to start 19-1 in a season, also delivered an RBI
double – one of the team’s 15 hits.
The Tigers, who have posted a .328 average in winning five of
seven, have collected at least 11 hits in all but one of those
games. Omar Infante and Andy Dirks both had three hits Saturday,
while Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson and Matt Tuiasosopo each added
Cabrera, batting a major league-best .356, is 18 for 47 (.383)
with seven homers and 18 RBIs in his last 11 road games. Jackson is
12 for 27 (.444) with two homers, six RBIs and eight runs during a
six-game hitting streak.
The Tigers, though, could have a hard time keeping things going
against Gee (9-8, 3.60 ERA), whose 2.27 ERA since May 30 ranks
third-best in the majors in that span.
“This is what we’ve known him to be in the past,” manager Terry
Collins said of Gee, who is 3-1 with an even more impressive 1.47
ERA in his last seven starts. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if
you look up in the next six weeks, and he’s going to have 14 or 15
Gee had everything working again Monday in a 6-1 win at
Minnesota, yielding one unearned run and striking out nine in 7 2-3
“It helps to have the help that I’ve had. I’ve had great
catchers calling great games, and Juan (Lagares) tracks down
everything there in center field,” Gee said. “It gives you
confidence to keep attacking.”
Gee has been nearly untouchable in three outings against the AL
this season, going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 22
innings. This will be his first matchup versus Detroit.
The punchless Mets (58-69) may need another gem from Gee if they
hope to get back on track. New York is hitting .206 and has managed
just two runs during a three-game losing streak.
The Mets will try to break out against Tigers starter Rick
Porcello (9-7, 4.52), who is coming off his first loss since June
30. The right-hander had gone 5-0 with a 2.62 ERA over a
seven-start stretch before surrendering five runs in 4 1-3 innings
Tuesday in a 6-3 defeat to Minnesota.
Porcello was hit hard in his only meeting against the Mets,
giving up seven runs and 11 hits – one shy of his career high – in
3 2-3 innings in a 14-3 loss June 28, 2011.
Like Gee, he has impressed in three interleague starts this
year, going 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA. Porcello is also 5-2 with a 2.36
ERA in his last eight road outings.
Detroit’s Victor Martinez, who caught for the first time in more
than two years on Friday night, is expected back after sitting out
Saturday. Shortstop Jose Iglesias, though, is uncertain to be
available again due to a sore left elbow.