Game Preview: Detroit (79-62) vs. Cleveland (70-68)


By Matt Van Wormer

Things did not go as planned for the Tribe on Labor Day as one bad pitch gave the Tigers all they needed to take game one of the pivotal series at Progressive Field, 4-2.  Victor Martinez continued to haunt his former teammates and Doug Fister shut down the Indians hitters to push the Indians closer to elimination.  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting darker by the day and unless a serious push is made, the Tribe will be on the outside looking in when September ends.
Looking to get the Tribe back on track will be Fausto Carmona (6-13, 4.84, 1.34 WHIP).  Though his won-loss record doesn’t tell the whole story, Carmona had a very good August and seemed to get back the control he had four years ago.  He’s seemed more focused than ever, he just hasn’t received the run-support from the injury plagued lineups that Manager Manny Acta has had to piece together day in and day out.  Fausto, like most pitchers, will have to be careful against Miguel Cabrera, as he has given up three long balls to the First Baseman.  Carmona must bring his A-Game to the ballpark tonight and pitch the Indians to victory.
Rick Porcello (12-8, 5.01, 1.44) counters for the Tigers as they look to push the Indians another game back in the standings.  However, the Indians have done well against Porcello this year.  In three starts against the Tribe, Porcello is 0-1 with a 9.42 ERA, giving up 25 hits and 15 runs in 14.1 innings.  Carlos Santana especially likes to see Porcello on the mound as he has hit three Home Runs and a Double against the right-hander.  The Indians must win tonight’s game to give themselves some confidence as they will face Justin Verlander on Wednesday.
There is reason to stay optimistic as the regular season winds down.  The Indians will receive some help tonight, as Jason Kipnis has been activated from the disabled list. Kipnis rejoins the Indians lineup for the first time since August 18. Manny Acta has also said Travis Hafner and Shin-Soo Choo, who are hurt, will be back sooner rather than later.  If those guys can get back in the lineup and inject some life back into this team and this city, there is still a shot that the Indians can turn this around and win the Division.  Hopefully it’s not too little, too late.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup:
4. Carlos Santana, 1B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Jason Kipnis, 2B
Detroit Tigers Starting Lineup:
2. Andy Dirks, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
8. Don Kelly, 3B
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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