BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 15: Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers throws to a Baltimore Orioles batter during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Blog: South Side Sox
After losing his last start against Detroit -- the 10-8 win at U.S. Cellular where Ryan Raburn actually homered, for those keeping score at home -- Peavy won two of his next four starts, all of which were White Sox victories. Since then, he has lost 5 of 6, only the most recent of which was his fault. Other than that, he's been the Jake Peavy we saw during his first two outings against the Tigers this season.
The more interesting wrinkle to Peavy's start tonight is that White Sox manager Robin Ventura chose to skip original starter Chris Sale in favor of Peavy. While some seem to think that this is because the Sox are trying to limit Sale's innings, we know the real reason: Sale's shaky-at-best* confidence would be shattered** after being out-pitched by Justin Verlander -- a near certainty, by the way -- so Ventura turned to the only pitcher on his staff who is angry at everything all the time. Seriously, watch Peavy tonight. If he doesn't yell at himself/the umpire/his catcher/that loud hot dog vendor at least 5 times, something is wrong.
*Probably not true
**Debatable, but also probably not true
Justin Verlander has not faced the White Sox yet this season. While his career numbers against them aren't that great (by his standards), he was 5-1 against them last season with a 2.91 ERA. Clearly, this has struck fear into the hearts of their entire lineup and they will simply lay down their bats*** in awe of the greatness that Verlander provides each and every time he takes the mound at Comerica Park.
***Pretty accurate, if I do say so myself
Best case: the Tigers are 1.5 games up at the end of the weekend. Worst case: the Tigers are 4.5 games back at the end of the weekend and behind Cleveland again. Just kidding: Cleveland is done.
GWilson could probably tell you how good Verlander actually is on Friday nights, but I only remember his awesome game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Expect similar fireworks tonight.