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Padres Preview: Dinelson Lamet vs. Anibal Sanchez & the Detroit Tigers

Padres rookie squares off against a struggling veteran.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres opened the homestand with a 1-0 win over the Tigers last night, thanks to some excellent pitching, stellar defense, and a couple of timely hits. Tonight’s matchup should have a slightly wider margin for error, as the squad faces a starter who has been struggling mightily.

Dinelson Lamet will take the mound tonight for his sixth career MLB start. While he looked a little shaky in prior outings, he was on his game in his most recent start against the Milwaukee Brewers. The three earned runs he gave up were by way of home runs on two of the rare mistake pitches he made that day, as his command was on point and his live arm had the ball darting around the strike zone, as evidenced by the 12 strikeouts he racked up. He was particularly efficient on that day, getting through six innings on 86 pitches - not Madduxian, but pretty dang good for a rookie who pounds the zone. If he can find that zone again tonight, the Tigers will have their work cut out for them and the bullpen relax a little.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers
Anibal Sanchez covertly prepares a spitball.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers are in the midst of a 7-game skid, and they’re looking to Anibal Sanchez to stop the bleeding. After spending most of his career as a starter, he’s been called upon for reliever work, and it hasn’t been pretty, as evidenced by his 7.96 ERA. After a dreadful start to the season he was a candidate for release in the eyes of Tigers fans. He was optioned to the minors for a month by his own request and came back into the rotation, and he’s made one start since his return. That start showed some promise, as he went five full innings and only surrendered two earned runs on five hits and three walks. If that’s the Anibal that shows up today, the Padres may have a battle on their hands. There is no obvious reason for his struggles this season, as his velocity hasn’t dropped and his pitch mix has remained mostly the same as from previous years.

Premiere Of Disney's 'Muppets Most Wanted' - Red Carpet
This is what comes to my mind when I hear the name “Anibal Sanchez”
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Today is “Beach Mat” giveaway day, which is totally better than beach towel giveaway day, right? Right? Eh, freebies are almost always cool, and the prospect of watching the Friars get some long-needed revenge on the Tigers is also always a good thing.

Start time: 7:10PM PDT

Radio: 94.9FM, 860AM (Español)
TV: Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Deportes San Diego
Online: MLB.TV