Game 28 Preview: Tigers at Mariners

April 7, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister (58) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit Tigers (14-13) at Seattle Mariners (13-17)

Time/Place: 10 p.m., SAFECO Field

SB Nation Blog: Lookout Landing

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: Doug Fister (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Blake Beavan (1-3, 4.45 ERA)

One again, our buddy ThirteenOfTwo has come up with an awesome fanpost with some insider perspective on the Mariners. His thoughts on Beavan:

Blake Beavan sneezes quality starts. No one knows how he does it. He doesn't strike anyone out, or walk anyone, or give up any home runs. He throws a very hittable-looking fastball with good command, and that's pretty much it. He's just insanely consistent: he goes out, every game, and throws six or seven innings while allowing three runs. It is boring as hell to watch, and to write about, which is why this is like the same thing I wrote last time. I imagine it must be really frustrating for fans of other teams to watch their hitters flail incompetently at what appear to be huge quantities of meatballs, but there you have it.

Beavan has been solid thus far, but his peripherals don't quite agree with the results. His FIP and xFIP are both over 5 and he's stranding runners at a higher rate despite getting fewer ground balls than he did last season. I think that his good fortune will start to run out once teams have seen him a couple times.

As for Fister, there is nothing but joy in Tiger town now that he has returned. Fister's minor league rehab start went well, but he only threw 66 pitches in 4+ innings. Expect Fister to work 5-6 innings if he's pitching well. I'd imagine that he will probably be pulled after about 80 pitches tonight.

Late night with... Mario and Rod

Tonight is the first 10 p.m. game of the season, but don't expect it to drag into the night. Both Beavan and Fister have averaged less than 2 walks per 9 innings in their respective careers, and the Tigers and Mariners are among the worst teams in the American League at drawing walks. Unless one pitcher starts getting shelled, this one could move fairly quickly.

Outlook

Fister's return could provide a huge spark of confidence for a Tigers team that has seemed to be sitting in idle for most of the season. I don't know if we'll see a huge offensive outburst (especially now, considering that we're starting a series in SAFECO National Park) but I think that this road trip could start to bring out the team that most people expected to see straight out of the gate this season.

Prediction

The bullpen shows up today and shuts down Seattle's offense after Fister gets pulled because of his pitch count.

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