The Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers face off for the first time since 2014
The Arizona Diamondbacks welcome a second American League Central foe to Chase Field for a brief two-game inter-league series Tuesday and Wednesday night.
The Diamondbacks started the inter-league portion of the 2017 schedule with a three-game sweep of the defending AL champion Cleveland Indians. Now, the Detroit Tigers come to Phoenix for the first time since 2014.
In July 2014, Detroit took two of three from Arizona but both teams have changed quite a bit. The Tigers enter Tuesday’s series opener with an even number of wins and losses (15-15), a 0.5 GB of the Minnesota Twins for second place in the AL Central and 2.0 GB of the first place Indians.
Similar to the Diamondbacks, the ninth inning has been an issue for the Tigers. Closer Francisco Rodriguez blew his second consecutive save opportunity Sunday (sound familiar?) against the Oakland Athletics. The 35-year-old right-hander owns an 8.49 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP. Rodriguez’s performance contrasts with the rest of the Detroit pen which has not allowed a run in their last seven games.
Fernando Rodney blew two straight save opportunities against the Colorado Rockies at the end of April. But he was 2-for-2 on the just-completed road trip and is tied for second in the majors with eight saves entering Monday.
The Diamondbacks pen has been dynamite lately. In their last seven games, Arizona relievers compiled a 1.79 ERA (5 ER in 25.1 IP) with 31 strikeouts.
On the contrary, the offense needs to start swinging the bats. Being back at Chase Field could bode well.
Nuggets about interleague play
- Over the last four seasons, the Diamondbacks are 34-46 in inter-league play.
- The Diamondbacks highest attendance for a game against the A.L. Central was May 17, 2008, versus Detroit. 48,811 packed Chase Field that day.
- Arizona is 16-14 all-time against the Tigers and 9-6 at Chase Field.
- Later this month, May 22nd through the 24th, the Diamondbacks will host their third AL Central team this season, the Chicago White Sox.