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Game 58: Tigers at White Sox

Dontrelle Willis (1-3, 6.84) vs. Mark Buehrle (6-2, 2.91), 8:11 p.m. EST

With the Tigers and White Sox splitting yesterday's doubleheader, we now basically have a three-game series. And it's beginning with what looks like a starting pitching mismatch.

I realize I was harsh on Dontrelle Willis after his last start, but still feel that the Tigers cannot afford to keep him in the starting rotation. Obviously, I hope the D-Train proves me wrong. He seems like a great guy who his teammates love, he answers for himself after pitching badly, and it would be nice to see him succeed because it's been so painful to watch him fail.

(And it's even more uncomfortable to read writers like Joe Lapointe and Dan Shaughnessy describe Willis's fidgety physical behavior while answering questions, inferring that there might be problems that extend beyond baseball.)

Can Willis pitch worse than he did last week against Boston? It's difficult to imagine, considering he gave up five runs without allowing a hit. But as was argued in that day's GameThread and recap, Willis didn't miss wildly out of the strike zone. Different calls on a few pitches might have made a big difference, but he clearly let that get to him. And U.S. Cellular Field isn't a ballpark that often allows struggling pitchers to escape any mistakes.

Starting for the White Sox this evening, Mark Buehrle might be the starting pitcher on the All-Tigers Killer team. A month ago, he faced the Tigers in Chicago and held them to one hit over eight innings. (It was the most dominating performance against them since, uh, last night.) In 26 career starts against Detroit, Buehrle has a 14-8 record and 2.86 ERA. He kind of owns the Tigers.

Here are your starting lineups:


Detroit Tigers @ Chicago White Sox

06/09/09 8:11 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers Chicago White Sox
Curtis Granderson - CF Scott Podsednik - LF
Placido Polanco - 2B Alexei Ramirez - SS
Magglio Ordonez - RF Jermaine Dye - RF
Miguel Cabrera - 1B Jim Thome - DH
Marcus Thames - DH Paul Konerko - 1B
Brandon Inge - 3B A.J. Pierzynski - C
Ryan Raburn - LF Gordon Beckham - 3B
Gerald Laird - C Jayson Nix - 2B
Adam Everett - SS Brian Anderson - CF

EDIT: Oh, and... GO WINGS!