Game Preview: Detroit (78-62) vs. Cleveland (70-67)
by Matt Van Wormer
The Indians have won seven of their last ten games as they try to claw their way back to the top of the Central Division. Unfortunately for them, the Tigers have also won seven of their last ten. Today, Cleveland and Detroit battle each other and if the Indians want to win this Division they will have to take this opportunity very seriously and battle as hard as they can.
For a team that has encountered so much adversity, the fact that they are even in this position is amazing. Injury after injury has stalled the Indians and the parade from Columbus to Cleveland has been non-stop. But through it all, the Indians have stayed competitive and are in a position to make a move as the Tigers visit Progressive Field, a place that has been trouble for Detroit all year. The Indians are 5-1 against the Tigers at home this year.
The Indians will get a little bit of help today as Grady Sizemore will make his return from the Disabled List and hit in the leadoff spot. On the year, Sizemore has had just 232 at-bats and is hitting .237 as he has gone back and forth to the DL. Grady will have to be patient at the plate and avoid strikeouts as much as possible.
The Indians will send Ubaldo Jimenez (8-10, 4.70, 1.42 WHIP) to the mound against the Tigers. Jimenez has already faced the Tigers twice since being traded to the Indians from the Colorado Rockies. He was very successful in his first outing against Detroit, going eight innings and giving up just five hits and three unearned runs. His other start was nowhere near as good when he went just 3.1 innings and gave up eight runs on nine hits. Getting ahead of the Tigers’ hitters will be the key.
Doug Fister (6-13, 3.26, 1.16 WHIP) throws for the Tigers, coming off a No-Decision against the Royals on 8/30. In that game, he threw 7.2 innings, giving up just one run on four hits. In four starts against Cleveland this year, Fister has thrown 23 innings, giving up seven runs on 20 hits. Of the Indians players that are healthy, Asdrubal Cabrera is the most experienced against Fister going 5 for 17 with just a single RBI.
It is do or die time in Cleveland and many of the Indians players are saying that this game is a must win and the series is a must sweep. The season is winding down and the Tribe has to play every game as a win or go home situation. If they can win today and keep it going tomorrow and Wednesday, they will be in a great position to take the Central Division race down to the wire.
Tigers Starting Lineup
Indians Starting Lineup
1. Grady Sizemore – CF
2. Kosuke Fukudome – RF
3. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
4. Carlos Santana – 1B
5. Jim Thome – DH
6. Shelley Duncan – LF
7. Lonnie Chisenhall – 3B
8. Jason Donald – 2B
9. Lou Marson – C
Photo: Amy Sancetta/AP