Detroit left-hander Matthew Boyd has two hits in seven career at-bats. Nonetheless, Tigers manager AJ Hinch still wishes he could take the bat out of Boyd’s hands on Tuesday.
Playing in a National League ballpark, Boyd will be at the bottom of the batting lineup as the Tigers face the host Milwaukee Brewers in the second game of a two-game series — a series that opened with a 3-2 Brewers win in 10 innings on Monday.
Hinch pinch hit for starter Tyler Alexander after just one inning Monday because the Tigers had the bases loaded. In the middle of the game, reliever Rony Garcia had to bat to stay in the game and struck out.
“That was unfair to him,” Hinch said. “I’ll go on the record — I prefer the DH for an American League team. We prefer the DH because our pitchers are at a disadvantage. It doesn’t matter how much you practice it or don’t practice it, they’re uncomfortable.”
On the mound, Boyd (2-6, 3.43 ERA) has lost each of his last three starts and five straight decisions, and hasn’t recorded a victory since April 13. Boyd has allowed at least four runs in each of those last three outings, most recently on Thursday when he pitched five-plus innings against Cleveland. Boyd labored through a season-high 102 pitches and gave up a homer on his final pitch.
“I didn’t put guys away,” Boyd said. “A lot of my misses in 0-2 and 1-2 counts were a little too big. The ball wasn’t really in and out of the zone, it was a ball out of my hand. I kind of racked up my own pitch count.”
He has lost his only career outing against the Brewers, giving up seven runs in three innings in 2020.
Left-hander Eric Lauer (1-1, 2.45) is expected to make his fourth start this season for the Brewers. He was sharp on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres, holding them to one run on four hits in six innings with six strikeouts.
He’ll be facing the Tigers for the first time.
Lauer has struck out 22 batters in 22 innings, but he relies on guile rather than velocity.
“The way that my pitches play off of each other the best is by mixing. … I’m never trying to throw the same pitch twice in a row in the same location,” he said. “I’m always trying to mix and match, move things around, play things off of each other, because I feel like that’s what gets hitters off balance. I don’t throw extremely hard, I don’t have incredibly hard breaking stuff, but the more I can get pitches to look like each other and then go opposite ways or split, I think that’s kind of the way that I find success.”
Lauer was recalled from the minors to make the start against San Diego. He’s hoping he won’t have to return any time soon.
“Everybody preaches, ‘Get a routine and stick to it,’ but when you’re in that position, you can’t,” he said. “So, you’ve got to be able to adjust on the fly, and you’ve got to be able to just kind of make things work as they come at you. Nobody really wants to be in that position. I know it’s not a comfortable place to be.”
–Field Level Media