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Game 8 Preview: Tigers at White Sox

Mar. 5, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Adam Wilk pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Mar. 5, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Adam Wilk pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit Tigers (5-2) at Chicago White Sox (4-2)

Time/Place: 4 p.m., U.S. Cellular Field

SB Nation Blog: South Side Sox

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

Pitching Matchup: Adam Wilk (first Major League start) vs. Gavin Floyd (0-1, 6.35 ERA)

In his first start of the season, Floyd gave up a few home runs of the tape measure variety to the Texas Rangers in a 5-0 loss. The lack of offense was obviously a problem -- the Sox were facing a lefty starter in Matt Harrison, for what it's worth -- but Floyd didn't help his cause by leaving a few too many pitches out over the plate. Floyd wasn't awful by any means, but you can't afford to make mistakes when you're facing an offense of the Rangers' (or Tigers') caliber.

Floyd's career numbers against the Tigers are pretty impressive: 6-2, 3.68 ERA in 17 starts. Even more impressive: he has nine career starts against the Tigers in which he's gone at least 6 innings pitched with one earned run or less. The good news? Floyd is just 1-2 against the Tigers with a 4.50 ERA in the past two seasons.

Wilk wasn't exactly what you would call "successful" in his 13 1/3 big league innings last season. He gave up 8 runs on 10 hits (three of which were home runs) in relief. Wilk's struggles with giving up home runs continued into the spring this season. He gave up 3 more home runs and 10 runs overall in 12 innings pitched. If you haven't guessed today's theme by now, it's going to be important for Wilk to not give up home runs.

Freedom from our FOX overlords!

Despite the Saturday afternoon time slot, today's game is broadcast on local networks. The FOX national broadcasts will occur at 1:00 pm this week. Why? I have no idea, but I'm not complaining. Enjoy it while it lasts, folks. If the Tigers continue to play well, chances are that they will see plenty of love from national networks throughout the season.


The White Sox have been abysmal against lefthanded pitchers so far this season. No doubt aided by the fact that Robin Ventura refuses to move Adam Dunn out of the 3-spot, the Sox are hitting just .154 against southpaws. They have 8 total hits off of lefties this season, and three of those belong to Paul Konerko. While U.S. Cellular isn't exactly the ideal ballpark for a guy like Wilk to pitch in, I think the matchup is in his favor. As long as he can keep everything in the ballpark, I think he will be successful.


Adam Wilk picks up the first win of the season for the Tigers' starting pitching staff (which would be fitting, considering how crazy this season has been so far).

Adam Wilk to start Saturday - Bless You Boys, Kurt Mensching
Kurt's post from earlier in the week about Wilk getting the nod for today's start.

Imports sink Detroit, Sox win 5-2 - South Side Sox
"It always feels good to win the home opener and the White Sox did just that this afternoon, beating the Detroit Tigers 5-2."

Robin Ventura all business in first home game as Chicago White Sox manager - Chicago Tribune, Dave van Dyck
"Friday was not as much about who Ventura is as it was about how he will manage. If a ballclub truly takes on the personality of its manager, then these Sox never will be in panic mode."

Tampa Bay Rays' Luke Scott: Fenway Park a 'dump' - ESPN Boston
Obviously this isn't related to today's game, but I thought it was pretty funny.