After an undefeated weekend against the Twins to get back to .500, the Tigers earned themselves a nice day off Monday before heading to Milwaukee for a short two-game series.
The day off wasn't a laid-back one though, as the trade deadline sat in the back of player's minds up to 4:00 PM. In the end, all but one Tiger will stay in Detroit, that lone player being Cameron Maybin.
The news broke after the deadline hit, but the Tigers ultimately dealt Cameron Maybin to the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs reportedly asked about Maybin over the weekend and followed through and got a deal done. Detroit received middle infielder Zack Short in return; the 21st ranked prospect in the Cubs organization.
Now that the deadline has passed, the Tigers can finally turn their focus on to the playoff chase.
The Brewers sit at 16-18, good for 3rd in the NL Central. Like Detroit, they also sit just outside the playoff picture and need to figure things out to make a run at a wild card spot.
The Brewers will throw a pair of righties on the mound this week in Adrian Houser and Josh Lindblom.
9/1- Michael Fulmer (0-0, 8.79) vs. Josh Lindblom (1-2, 6.31)
Drafted by the Dodgers in 2008, Lindblom had a solid rookie season with the organization in 2011, posting a 2.73 ERA in 27 games. However, after a few rough seasons, Lindblom wound up with the Pirates, who later released him.
Lindblom then traveled overseas to play in the Korean Baseball League, where he pitched magnificently. In 2019 he went 20-3 with a 2.50 ERA, won the league's MVP award, and even helped the Doosan Bears win the 2019 title.
Following the two seasons away from home, the Milwaukee Brewers signed Lindblom to a three-year contract, totaling just under $10 million.
However, he returned to the MLB only to get roughed up in his first month back. Lindblom's ERA sits at 6.31, and he still doesn't have a quality start in six appearances.
He rarely induces soft contact, and unlike Houser, he has one of the worst ground ball rates in the league. Likewise, Lindblom's line drive and fly ball rates are also a couple of the worst in the MLB.
So what does all of this mean exactly? Well, after taking a closer look, Lindblom's numbers on Fangraphs remarkably resemble the numbers of Adam Plutko of the Cleveland Indians.
If you remember back on August 21st, when the Tigers faced Plutko, they crushed the Indian, knocking him out in the 4th inning with seven runs on five hits. However, the strikeout rate of Lindblom is considerably higher.
Lindblom may find his groove against the Tigers because of his K-rate. It's also possible that the Tigers do the same to Lindblom as they did to Plutko. If one of them were to happen, let's hope it's the latter.
9/2- Spencer Turnbull (3-2, 2.97) vs. Adrian Houser (1-3, 4.36)
After a couple of great starts to the year from Houser, where he gave up just one run over 12 innings, he's been a consistent "meh" ever since.
In his last four starts, his ERA stands at 6.43 and his WHIP at an unimpressive 1.66. The 27-year old has a good fastball and a changeup, slider, and curveball to go with it.
Houser is a master at forcing opponents to groundout, especially with his two-seamer. He owns the best ground ball rate (min. 20 IP) in the MLB at 64.6% and doesn't strike out or walk many.
Houser is your standard' pitch to contact' type of guy. However, if Houser gives up intense contact again, he'll have trouble brewing (yes, pun intended).
Houser has given up nine hits in each of his last two starts, and according to Fangraphs, an astounding 40% of his fly balls this year have ended up leaving the park.
If the Tigers can make quality contact against Houser as every other team did in August, they will be successful. However, the Tigers rank 28th in strikeouts, averaging almost 10 K's per game, so this may be Houser's opportunity to get back on track.
Get the latest Detroit Tigers news by joining our community. Click "Follow" at the top right of our Tigers Baseball Report page. Mobile users click the notification bell. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @TigersreportSI