June 21, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder (28) runs towards third after hits a home run off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during the fourth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Cardinals Vs. Tigers: Detroit Steals Rubber Match In 10 Innings

The St. Louis Cardinals were defeated by the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

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St. Louis Cardinals DH Matt Holliday As American League Stint Begins

The St. Louis Cardinals make their first trip to the American League of 2012 Tuesday night, and now that we have their lineup for Game 1 vs. the Detroit Tigers, we know the answer to the ultimate interleague question: Who do you DH? For Tuesday night, at least, the Cardinals have settled on Matt Holliday as their designated hitter. Holliday left Sunday's extra-innings marathon with a hip flexor issue, and seems somewhere between healthy and day-to-day based on manager Mike Matheny's defensive-replacement routine over the last few games.

The Cardinals have a number of injured and injury-prone sluggers currently on the active roster, and all of them are likely to get DH time as a means of resting their shaky legs; in addition to Holliday, Carlos Beltran, dealing with knee soreness, and Allen Craig, recovering from a hamstring strain, are likely to see at-bats there.

That means the primary beneficiary of the extra at-bats won't be spending time at DH—it's Matt Adams, who'll get regular time at first base while all this is going on. Stuck in a bench role since Craig returned, Adams is hitting .257/.304/.419 with two home runs and 13 RBI since being called up a month ago.


Justin Verlander's Start Shows Fickleness Of Pitcher Wins

Justin Verlander went 24-5 last year, winning the American League MVP as well as the pitcher's Triple Crown—wins, ERA, and strikeouts—by a significant margin. It was one of the best pitching seasons in years, and great as Jose Bautista was I can't find fault with the voters' decision. This year, going into tonight's matchup against 10-1 Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals, he's gone 6-4. He's pitching almost exactly as well. He won't win the MVP.

Seriously, find the difference in his performance: In 2011 he averaged 7.3 innings per start, in 2012 7.26. In 2011 he struck out 25.8% of the batters he faced, in 2012 he struck out 25.9% of the batters he faced. He's allowed far fewer home runs per inning this year than last.

He's just not winning as much. If you believe that's his fault, feel free to continue paying attention to pitcher wins as a measure of pitcher quality. And please tell me what he could have done differently. As for me, I'll go back to being terrified about his pitching against the Cardinals.

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