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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | December 5, 2021

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Series Preview: Detroit (61-53) vs. Cleveland (56-56)

By Matt Van Wormer

The Indians return home with a .500 record after a tough road trip that saw the Indians lose four of the seven games they played. The worst part was the fact that the Tribe was in every game and could have had a 7-0 trip. Instead, they get back to Progressive Field with the Central Division leading Detroit Tigers in town holding a four game lead. So far on the year, the Indians are 4-2 against the Tigers and will need to perform well against them, and the rest of the Central Division, if they want to stay in the thick of the playoff race.

In the opener, Justin Masterson (9-7, 2.63) takes on the pitcher the Tigers acquired at the trade deadline, Doug Fister (4-12, 3.29). In his first start for Detroit, Fister beat the Texas Rangers, going seven innings and giving up two earned runs. In two starts against the Tribe this year, Fister has pitched well but has had no run support. He has thrown 14 innings and given up just 10 hits and three earned runs. Masterson has thrown 13.1 innings against the Tigers, giving up 14 hits, seven runs (four earned), striking out 11 and walking seven. Masterson will be looking for his first win against Detroit.

Ubaldo Jimenez (6-9, 4.64) will make his Progressive Field debut on Wednesday night against Rick Porcello (11-6, 4.49). Jimenez was fairly effective in his first start for the Tribe, getting a no-decision against the Rangers on Friday. It will be Jimenez’ first ever meeting with Detroit. Porcello has made one start against the Tribe and took a no decision. He threw seven innings, giving up two solo home runs to Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley. The Indians won that contest 3-2.

The final game of the series should be a pitcher’s duel as the recently effective Fausto Carmona (5-11, 5.19) takes on Detroit Ace and Cy Young award candidate, Justin Verlander (16-5, 2.30). In one start against the Tribe this year, Verlander threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout, striking out 12 Indians hitters in the process and walking just one. Carmona has only faced the Tigers once this season, throwing five innings in a game where he earned the victory. In that contest, Carmona gave up seven hits and four runs (two earned). Going back to his July 25th start against the Reds, the Indians have won four of the five games that Carmona has started.

Being down by four games, the Indians must win this series. If they don’t, they can pretty much throw any ideas of being in the playoffs out the window. The only pitcher for the Tigers that will be extremely tough to beat in this series is Justin Verlander. The Indians bats can definitely take on the other pitchers that Detroit will throw at them. Cleveland has a chance to be just one game out of first if they sweep this series. Let’s hope that they can bounce back from a disappointing road trip and do just that.


Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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