July 12th, 2014

Saturday’s lineups: Tigers at Royals

With the suspense pretty much over about Victor Martinez’s availability for the series, the four-outfielders-for-three-spots scenario is not a question. J.D. Martinez is the DH tonight, with Rajai Davis and Torii Hunter on the corners. Andrew Romine gets the start at shortstop to add another left-handed bat against James Shields, who’s allowing a .292 average and .792 OPS from the left side this year compared with .249 and .717 against righties. The lefty average is the highest of Shields’ career.

No major changes for the Royals in Rick Porcello’s first outing since he joined Twitter. This time, Lorenzo Cain is in right field to start the game after shifting there from center of the middle of the game Friday night.

Gameday | TV: FS Detroit (tape delay at 10pm ET), MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, AM 1270, Gameday Audio

TIGERS (career numbers off Shields)

  1. Austin Jackson, CF (10-for-32, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 3 walks, 9 K’s)
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B (10-for-47, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 3 walks, 3 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (19-for-47, 8 doubles, 2 HR, 4 walks, 7 K’s)
  4. J.D. Martinez, DH (3-for-9, double, HR, walk, 3 K’s)
  5. Torii Hunter, RF (17-for-53, 4 doubles, 13 K’s)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (1-for-2)
  7. Alex Avila, C (8-for-25, double, 2 HR, 3 walks, 11 K’s)
  8. Andrew Romine, SS (1-for-3)
  9. Rajai Davis, LF (2-for-16, triple, 3 K’s)

P: Rick Porcello

ROYALS (career numbers against Porcello)

  1. Nori Aoki, LF (0-for-3, K)
  2. Lorenzo Cain, RF (0-for-2, walk, K)
  3. Eric Hosmer, 1B (5-for-16, 2 HR, 2 walks, K)
  4. Salvador Perez, C (2-for-13, 2 K’s)
  5. Omar Infante, 2B (2-for-3, triple)
  6. Billy Butler, DH (14-for-45, 3 doubles, HR, walk, 10 K’s)
  7. Mike Moustakas, 3B (5-for-18, 3 doubles, walk, 3 K’s)
  8. Alcides Escobar, SS (1-for-23, 5 K’s)
  9. Jarrod Dyson, CF (2-for-8, triple, walk, K)

P: James Shields

Why tonight’s Tigers game won’t be broadcast live

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like when not every Tigers game was available to watch on live television, or what it’s like to sit around the house and listen to a game live on the radio, this is your night, because the Tigers-Royals game won’t be broadcast live. It’ll be available live on radio through the Tigers network and online at MLB Gameday Audio. Then, Fox Sports Detroit will have its telecast on tape delay beginning at 10pm ET.

It’s not an FSD decision, but a conflict between the Royals home game schedule and the FOX network national blackout. As part of its Saturday night game package, FOX holds the exclusive broadcast rights for the 7pm window. So, any games going on around that time that FOX isn’t showing can’t be telecast live.

The Tigers have worked around this ever since FSD started picking up the entire schedule, changing their home game times on Saturdays for games that FOX doesn’t pick up. For other teams, especially those that don’t have their entire schedule on TV in the first place, it’s a different story. In Kansas City, there’s a value to having a night game on Saturdays in the hottest part of the summer, rather than a day game. FSKC, for instance, isn’t picking up the game at all.

(Update: ALL of Kansas City’s Saturday home games are 6:10 CT starts)

FOX and MLB have worked around this in past years. Back in 2011, when the Tigers were on the verge of clinching their first division title in 27 years, FOX added a Tigers-A’s game from Oakland for Detroit and Bay Area viewers just in case the Tigers had a chance to clinch that day (they ended up clinching the night before). For a Tigers-Royals game in July, even though it’s a matchup of the top two teams in the AL Central, it wasn’t getting added.

For what it’s worth, the game is listed on the MLB.TV schedule, which means it’s online and on MLB At-Bat for mobile devices. I don’t expect it to be shown live, though, even for viewers out of market.