When: 9:40 p.m. Friday.
Where: Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.
TV: Bally Sports Detroit.
Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1 in Detroit; Tigers radio affiliates).
Tigers lineup: TBA.
Who to follow: Evan Petzold, Free Press beat writer on Tigers.
Game notes: The number to watch for as Sawyer Gipson-Long makes his third career start is seven. The right-hander is coming off an 11-strikeout performance Saturday in Anaheim, which followed a five-strikeout debut on Sept. 10. Those 16 strikeouts in his first two appearances are the second most by any Tiger in his first two MLB starts, behind only Ralph Comstock’s 19 in two 1913 games. Comstock didn’t register a strikeout in Game No. 3, though. The three-game franchise record for strikeouts belongs to Denny McLain, who K’d 22 over 21 innings in his only three appearances of the 1963 season: Eight in his debut, followed by three and then 11 to close out his year.
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Gipson-Long will certainly have a strikeout-friendly opponent to face tonight in the Athletics; Oakland’s hitters, who are averaging an MLB-worst 3.62 runs a game, are also among the league leaders in strikeouts. Oakland entered Thursday with 1,395 strikeouts, which ranked seventh out of 30 teams (well off the league leaders, Minnesota, whose 1,576 Ks are on pace to set an MLB record). They then struck out 12 times against the Tigers’ combo of Tarik Skubal and Brenan Hanifee. The chief culprits are, perhaps not coincidentally, Oakland’s top hitters: DH Brent Rooker leads the team with 28 homers and 160 strikeouts in just 432 at-bats. First baseman Ryan Noda has 15 homers and a solid 73 walks in 456 plate appearances — but also 154 strikeouts. And catcher Shea Langeliers — the prize prospect in the trade that sent current MLB home-run leader Matt Olson to Atlanta before the 2022 season — has 138 strikeouts to go with his 20 homers in 428 at-bats. Together, that’s 452 strikeouts in 1,131 at-bats — a 40% strikeout rate.
The A’s, as you might expect from a team with 106 losses already, also feature one of the majors’ worst pitching staffs, with a 5.56 ERA — 29th out of 30 teams — that actually understates their rotation problems. Oakland’s starter ERA of 5.83 is the 23rd worst of all-time. (Nos. 1 and 2 belong to the Tigers of 1996 and 2020, respectively, at 6.64 and 6.37 — they seem pretty safe for now.) Oakland starter Ken Waldichuk hasn’t necessarily been the problem in his 20 starts — his 5.38 ERA as a starter ranks 11th among the 24 unlucky A’s who’ve opened a game on the mound this season. Still, his past two appearances have been as an innings-eater, rather than a starter; he gave up six runs, all earned, to the Padres over four innings of relief on Sunday. That followed a six-inning relief outing in which he no-hit the Astros on Sept. 11 in Houston.
Tonight marks the final late start of the year for the Tigers, with the final two games at the Coliseum set for 4:07 p.m. starts Saturday and Sunday. After that, the Tigers will have Monday to return to Detroit and get ready for their final homestand, starting Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals (the second-worst team in baseball, at 51-102). The A’s, meanwhile, hit the road for their final six games, starting against the Twins in Minneapolis on Tuesday night.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers game score vs. Oakland Athletics: Time, TV
Source: Yahoo Sports