Around The Beat: Beck says O's-Tigers is 'biggest series in Detroit in a couple years' - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Around The Beat: Beck says O’s-Tigers is ‘biggest series in Detroit in a couple years’

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Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon
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Make no mistake about this.

Yes, the Orioles face the Boston Red Sox for seven more games and the Toronto Blue Jays three more times this month.

But the biggest series of September could end up being the one that starts tonight at Comerica Park in Detroit.

The Orioles currently lead the Tigers by one game for the second AL Wild Card. No matter what other teams do this weekend, the winner of this series likely will be holding onto a playoff spot with division foes up next on the schedule.

In May, the Orioles took three of four from Detroit at Camden Yards, so if they win just once this weekend, they’ll capture the season series. And that could be big if the clubs have the same record at season’s end and home-field advantage is determined by head-to-head record.

Don’t think this is just a BaltimoreBaseball.com hype thing. This weekend is being viewed as exceptionally important in the Motor City, too.

“It’s going to be the biggest series in Detroit in a couple years,” said Jason Beck, MLB.com’s Detroit Tigers beat writer. “It’s good to have series like this back in Detroit again after really having nothing like this down the stretch last season.”

Beck, this week’s guest on our “Around The Beat” podcast, explains the Tigers’ resurgence this summer after looking like an also-ran in the beginning of the year. Much of it has to do with the rotation’s improvement, beginning with the promotion of 23-year-old right-hander Michael Fulmer, who starts Friday against the Orioles’ 25-year-old righty Kevin Gausman.

Fulmer, who is 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA and throws three above-average pitches for strikes, is a leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.

The pitching matchups may end up being the primary storylines for this series. On Saturday, the enigmatic Ubaldo Jimenez tries to keep his roll going against Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann, who has been on the disabled list with a neck injury.

On Sunday, the Orioles get their own injured starter back as Chris Tillman (right shoulder) is expected to return from the DL to face Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander, who is having his best year since 2012. The last time Tillman and Verlander faced off, on May 13, the Orioles won 1-0 on a home run by Adam Jones.

This series should be pennant-race baseball at its finest, and Beck gives his thoughts on how he expects it to end up. Compelling stuff, people. So listen:

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Os fan in Detroit

    September 9, 2016 at 7:15 am

    This is a big series, not just for the teams, but for me personally. As my name shows, I live just outside of Detroit, but I am wearing my Orioles gear with pride today. I will take a verbal from my coworkers today, but I want the last laugh on Monday. LETS GO OS!

    • Dan Connolly

      September 9, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Should be a good one. Make sure to play the podcast at work. Get everyone –both sides of the aisle — hyped.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 9, 2016 at 10:31 am

        Dan … you’re sounding like a fan again ….

    • Dan Connolly

      September 9, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Come on. I enjoy baseball. In that sense, sure. I love watching the game, love when the stakes are high and love when it is played well. Nothing better. But the difference for me now is I don’t get emotionally tied to who wins or loses.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 9, 2016 at 11:32 am

        I kid because I love your website. I’ve got your book on my Xmas list this year. I’d have read it by now but it’s something my son can afford, so I’m waiting for Santa.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 9, 2016 at 9:00 am

    One of the best, and certainly the LOUDEST baseball game I’ve ever been to in y 57 years, was the Delmon Young “Double Heard ’round Bal’more” game 2 playoff victory over the Tigers in ’14. Up until then, I thought decibels like that were restricted to the gridiron.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 9, 2016 at 9:13 am

      I’ve covered World Series and a Super Bowl. That was the loudest moment of coverage in my career. Ear-splitting doesn’t give it justice.

    • Steve Cockey

      September 9, 2016 at 10:41 am

      I was 9 rows back with my dad on his birthday. Other than 2131, it’s probably my favorite live baseball memory.

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