Game 141 Preview: Tigers at White Sox

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 31: Doug Fister #58 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning during a MLB game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on August 31, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Detroit Tigers (73-67) at Chicago White Sox (76-64)

Time/Place: 8:00 p.m., U.S. Cellular Field

SB Nation Blog: South Side Sox

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

Pitching Matchup: RHP Doug Fister (8-8, 3.54 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (10-10, 3.22 ERA)

I think it's safe to say that this will be the last time that I preview one of Peavy's starts this season, but -- like we are all well aware at this point in the season -- crazier things have happened. Peavy won his 10th game of the season with a 6 IP, 1 ER outing against the Minnesota Twins in his last start, the only start between this one and his last outing against the Tigers. He gave up 6 runs on 9 hits in that game. With the way the Tigers offense has been going lately -- although "not going" would probably be the more appropriate choice of words here -- Peavy will probably have better results tonight.

Fister followed up his "well, he was just OK but we still won" start against the White Sox with a dominant performance against the hapless Cleveland Indians last time out. After allowing a combined 9 walks in his three previous starts, Fister's efficient performance (just one free pass in seven innings) was a welcome sight for Tigers fans. He will need to have similar results tonight -- and another six strikeouts probably wouldn't hurt either -- for the Tigers to get back into the division hunt.

Outlook

If there has been a "must win" game in 2012, this is it. Yes, the Tigers could theoretically lose tonight then win the next two games to split the series, but that's a monster of an uphill battle to climb, although one involving the two best pitchers on the team. If Fister can replicate his last start, the Tigers have a decent shot. And if this season has shown us one thing, it's that the Tigers will make it as frustrating as possible... especially when that involves getting our hopes up again.

Prediction

Fister hurls a gem and the Tigers pick up a huge win.

Gameday Reading:

White Sox 6, Tigers 1: Rios makes it count - South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
"Quintana pitched 7 2/3 outstanding innings, benefiting from Detroit's similar inability to cash in scoring opportunities. The Tigers could only turn six hits into one run over the first three innings."

Don’t Hit, Don’t Field, Don’t Win - Walkoff Woodward, Grey Papke
"But with every passing day, the odds of them turning it around seem less and less likely – 3 games back feels more like 30 at this point."

Chicago White Sox beat Detroit Tigers to take three-game lead in AL Central Division - Chicago Tribune, Mark Gonzales
"The momentum shifted after Quintana retired Cabrera and Fielder and retired 10 consecutive batters at one juncture to help rest a bullpen that had seen veteran relievers Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton each pitch three consecutive games."

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