The Tigers have lost four in a row and go into Sunday’s game with a 3-9 record against the Indians this year. They’re 6-28 since June 25, 2015.
The staggering Tigers made a flurry of roster moves before Saturday’s game, starting with activating pitcher Francisco Liriano off the 10-day disabled list. Liriano pitched four innings and took the loss Saturday in a 4-1 Cleveland victory.
The Tigers also optioned infielder Ronny Rodriguez to Triple-A Toledo. They placed pitcher Johnny Barbato on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder rotator cuff tendinitis. To replace Barbato on the roster, Detroit recalled right-handed pitcher Artie Lewicki from Toledo.
The pitching matchup Sunday will be Detroit left-hander Matthew Boyd (4-5, 3.63 ERA) vs. Cleveland right-hander Adam Plutko (3-1, 5.04).
Boyd will make his second start against the Indians this year. His first one was a good one. On April 10, the Tigers lost to Cleveland 2-1. Boyd worked seven innings, giving up one run and three hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
Boyd comes into Sunday after a loss in his last start, 9-5 to Cincinnati on June 19. In that game, he pitched four innings, giving up five runs and six hits with five strikeouts and three walks. In six career appearances against the Indians, Boyd is 1-2 with a 1.78 ERA.
Plutko’s last appearance was a two-inning relief stint during the Indians’ 9-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on June 16. In that game, Plutko pitched two innings Kerry Hyder Jersey , giving up one run and two hits with one strikeout and no walks.
Plutko’s last start was a 5-1 loss to the White Sox on June 12 in which he pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs and eight hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Sunday will be Plutko’s second career appearance against Detroit. He made a relief appearance against the Tigers on Sept. 27, 2016, allowing three runs and three hits, including a home run, with one walk and one strikeout in two innings.
Sunday was supposed to be Mike Clevinger’s day to start, but Indians manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Carl Willis decided to tweak the rotation. Clevinger will instead pitch Monday in St. Louis. Corey Kluber, who’s day to pitch would have been Monday, will now pitch Tuesday against the Cardinals.
“Somebody was going to get an extra day,” Francona said. “Just talking to Carl, we felt like Clev’s thrown 100 (or more) pitches in nine (of his last 10 starts). So giving him an extra day, we just thought it would help us more than anything. So that’s why we changed it.”
Plutko will be backed by a Cleveland bullpen that is much improved since the additions of newcomers Oliver Perez and Neil Ramirez. Ramirez has a 2.57 ERA in 16 games, and in his nine appearances with Cleveland Perez has a 1.17 ERA.
“The reliever world can be very volatile Filip Forsberg Jersey , so when you hit on guys like that, it sure helps,” Francona said.
The Tigers, meanwhile, are trying to get their offense started. Detroit has scored three runs or less in four of its last five games, being outscored 29-12 in those games.
It may have been his last game in New England, and Matt Patricia wasn’t ready for it to end.
The Patriots defensive coordinator went back onto the field long after the AFC championship was over and the team had advanced to the Super Bowl for the sixth time in his tenure.
There, he tossed around a football with his son before flopping onto his back on the confetti that had fallen during the team’s celebration.
”(It was) just fun to have him out there running around and just seeing the excitement that he had to be out on the field,” Patricia said this week as he tried to maintain his focus on the Super Bowl and not his expected next step: as head coach of the Detroit Lions. ”That’s always just kind of a special little moment for myself and him and my wife.”
Most identifiable by his bushy beard, backward-facing ball cap and cargo shorts or cutoff sweatpants no matter what the weather, Patricia will be on the Patriots sideline on Feb. 4, when they face the Philadelphia Eagles in an attempt to win their sixth NFL championship.
Then he will reportedly be hired as the Lions head coach.
Patricia has declined to comment on the Detroit job other than to confirm that he ”went through the process that the NFL allows us to go through during the bye week.”
The Lions confirmed that they interviewed Patricia and reportedly informed the unsuccessful candidates, but they cannot make it official until after the Patriots are done playing.
Players say he takes a special interest in them, talking to them not just as players but also asking about their families.
”It’s not just to coach you up,” linebacker Elandon Roberts said. ”That’s a must for him. That shows what kind of man he is outside of the building. He takes pride in us as players, but he also takes pride in us as people.”
Taking a rarely followed path to the NFL, Patricia graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with four varsity letters and an Aeronautical Engineering degree.
He bounced around a few colleges in the Northeast before landing on Bill Belichick’s staff with the then-defending Super Bowl champions.
Moving up through the team’s coaching ranks, he became the Patriots defensive coordinator in 2012.
Before most every game, Patricia walks up to every player on the sideline and shakes his hand.
”It just lets us know he has our back,” safety Duron Harmon said. ”He has our back; we’ve got his back. It’s nothing more than just a relationship that he’s built with everybody throughout the defense.
”And when you’ve got that from your coach, knowing that he’s going to go down for you and you’re going to go down for him, it makes you want to go out there and lay it down for him.”