MLB on Sling TV: Tigers Fight Indians to Stay Alive in Wild Card Hunt on ESPN; Thursday’s Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks
(all times Eastern, starters subject to change)
Cleveland Indians (Merritt 0-0, 1.50) vs. Detroit Tigers (Norris 3-2, 3.59)
1pm ET on ESPN
The Tigers beat the Indians last night 6-3 in a rain-shortened 5-inning game, thanks to a Miguel Cabrera 3-run homer in the bottom of the 5th. The win allowed the Tigers to keep a game behind the Orioles in the race for the second Wild Card spot, while the Blue Jays, who lead the Wild Card hunt, lost, dropping their lead over the O’s to just 1 game.
Detroit starter Michael Fulmer lasted just 3 innings due to an earlier rain delay, leaving him with an ERA of 3.0566, just a shade better than league-leader Aaron Sanchez of the Blue Jays’ 3.0648, but at 159 innings, just 3 innings short of qualifying for the ERA title.
Twenty-four-year-old rookie Ryan Merritt joined the Indians for his third cup of coffee of 2016 just two weeks ago, giving up a run on 2 hits in two-thirds of an inning against the White Sox. A career minor leaguer, Merritt’s chance tonight to start a big league game is a product of September’s 40-man rosters, the Indians already clinching the AL Central and having more than half their starting rotation dealing with health issues. Enjoy your day in the sun, young master Merritt!
Daniel Norris has made improvements on his modestly successful rookie campaign of last year, with his strikeout rate jumping from 6.8 to 9.0 per 9 innings. He’s been especially good down the stretch, with a 3.26 ERA and 47 strikeouts over 49 ⅔ innings his last 9 starts, though the Tigers have gone just 5-4 in those games.
Watch the Cleveland Indians vs. the Detroit Tigers at 1pm ET Thursday on ESPN by subscribing to the Sling Orange.
And here’s the action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land…
Arizona Diamondbacks (Ray 8-14, 4.77) at Washington Nationals (Ross 7-5, 3.48)
1:05pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona
Cleveland Indians (Merrit 0-0, 1.50) vs. Detroit Tigers (Norris 6-10, 5.10)
1:10pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit & SportsTime Ohio
Boston Red Sox (Owens 0-1, 7.79) at New York Yankees (Sabathia 8-12, 4.02)
7:05pm ET on YES
Philadelphia Phillies (Hellickson 12-10, 3.78) at Atlanta Braves (Collmenter 3-0, 4.19)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Southeast
Cincinnati Reds (Straily 14-8, 3.74) at St. Louis Cardinals (Reyes 4-1, 1.57)
7:15pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati & FOX Sports Midwest
Minnesota Twins (Gibson 6-11, 5.04) at Kansas City Royals (Duffy 12-3, 3.43)
7:15pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City & FOX Sports North
Tampa Bay Rays (Archer 8-19, 4.02) at Chicago White Sox (Quintana 13-11, 3.21)
8:10pm ET on Fox Sports Sun
Los Angeles Dodgers (Urias 5-2, 3.53) at San Diego Padres (Friedrich 5-11, 4.66)
9:10pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego
Watch baseball on FOX and FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to the Sling Blue.