Game 56 Preview: Indians at Tigers

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 25: Starting pitcher Jeanmar Gomez #58 of the Cleveland Indians delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on May 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Cleveland Indians (29-25) at Detroit Tigers (25-30)

Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: Let's Go Tribe

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

Pitching Matchup: Jeanmar Gomez (3-4, 4.42 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (5-3, 5.55 ERA)

I guess the best compliment I can give Gomez is that he's the type of guy that I would love to watch if he weren't playing for the Indians. At just 24 years old, he's the type of guy that will terrorize the Tigers for years -- and by "years," I mean 2-3 seasons until he's traded for prospects. All kidding aside, he won't even hit arbitration until after the 2014 season and won't be a free agent until 2017. This is mildly terrifying.

This season, Gomez has been a bit inconsistent. He had a stellar April, but has been roughed up a few times in May. The Chicago White Sox have already scored 13 runs against him in just two starts, and Kansas City put up a 5-spot on 10 hits in Gomez's last start. He throws a fastball with good movement in the low 90s, a slider nearly 32% of the time, and a changeup in the low 80s. His location with the slider has been impressive; namely, he doesn't leave it out over the plate.

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via pitchfx.texasleaguers.com

I have to laugh at all the criticism that Max Scherzer gets from Tigers fans. He's been inconsistent in his time as a Tiger, but he had an excellent May. Scherzer was 4-0 with a 4.04 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 35 innings last month, further cementing my belief that Jeff Jones is 100% NOT the problem with this team. Simply put: that strikeout rate is bananas, and his command is much better too; Scherzer only walked 8 batters in May. If he could figure out a way to stop giving up home runs, the Tigers would be in business.

Outlook

There's no sugarcoating it: last night's game sucked. That's why you got a snap reaction of a monkey sniffing it's butt (you're welcome, by the way). Thankfully, it will be difficult for things to get worse, but it's also not impossible. Gomez is inconsistent, but my gut tells me that he will give this struggling offense some problems. Still, I think the Tigers have a good shot at winning this game, provided they have a healthy catcher by the end of the night.

Prediction

Scherzer gives up a couple home runs, but still gives the Tigers a quality start.

Gameday Reading:

Game 54: Indians 4, Tigers 2 - Let's Go Tribe
LGT gives way more credit to Ubaldo Jimenez than we did, which is probably a fair assessment. It goes both ways.

Ubaldo Jimenez Struggles to Walk Hitters as Tigers Offense Explodes for Two Runs - Walkoff Woodward, Josh Worn
Unlike Doc, I regret nothing. This offense will turn around.

Pitching Matchups vs. Cleveland: How Smyly, Scherzer, and Crosby Can Be Successful - Motor City Bengals, Brian Sakowski
Missed this before yesterday's game, but Brian's analysis of Smyly was spot-on. Hopefully Scherzer and Crosby are just as effective.

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