Game 142 Preview: Tigers at White Sox

August 20, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit Tigers (74-67) at Chicago White Sox (76-65)

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 Max Scherzer vs. RHP Gavin Floyd (9-9, 4.55 ERA)

Well, this should be fun. Floyd has largely owned the Tigers throughout his career, posting a 7-2 record with a 3.42 ERA in 19 career starts against Detroit. This season, Floyd has provided more of the same, allowing just 2 earned runs on 10 hits in 13 innings against the Tigers. That being said, Floyd hasn't pitched since August 26th due to an elbow injury. He says that his pitching motion is pain free, but it remains to be seen whether he will be as effective in a game situation in his first start off the DL.

Leading up to his start against the Los Angeles Angels, I wasn't sure how well Scherzer would perform on the road. His previous three starts were excellent, but all three were at Comerica Park. Max has some pretty significant home/away splits (especially in terms of K/BB ratio) and the Angels were one of the hottest teams in baseball at the time -- and I guess they still are, but that's not the point. Still, Scherzer's impressive outing wasn't enough to get the Tigers a W, and thus the losing skid began.

Outlook

As well as Scherzer has been pitching lately, his last start proved that he can't do it alone. The Tigers need to find a way to get to Floyd, or at least knock him out of the game early enough to get to the White Sox bullpen. A win tonight would be huge, setting up Justin Verlander with a chance to tie the division tomorrow night. A loss puts JV and the Tigers back up against the wall and makes Thursday's game a true must-win affair.

Prediction

Scherzer puts together a solid outing and the offense starts to find its rhythm in the later innings, setting up a huge matchup tomorrow night.

Gameday Reading:

Tigers Are Back! Back To 2 Games Back - Walkoff Woodward, Brian Packey
"Now, with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander throwing the next two nights, two games back feels kind of like, well, two games."

Tigers 5 White Sox 3: Robin Does His Team No Favors - South Side Asylum
"But there were decisions that Ventura made in the eighth inning that made me wonder which team he actually wanted to win."

Gavin Floyd gets call to start vs. Detroit Tigers as Francisco Liriano is sent to bullpen - Chicago Tribune, Mark Gonzales
"Floyd will take the spot of Liriano, who has walked nine in his last nine innings covering two starts." I'm glad that turned out well last night.

Pressing White Sox into action, pressing luck - South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
"What was weird about choosing Liriano in that situation is that the Sox had already survived a bout of the walksies. Nate Jones started his inning by walking the first two guys he faced, and Detroit didn't score." Imagine that.

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