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Game 2 Preview: Red Sox at Tigers

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Change of plans. Instead of series previews, we're going to put our staff members to good use and hammer out previews on a daily basis. As I suggested on Thursday, let us know what is working and what isn't.

Boston Red Sox (0-1) at Detroit Tigers (1-0)

Time/Place: 4 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: Over the Monster

Media: FOX (map), Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: Josh Beckett (13-7, 2.89 ERA in 2011) vs. Doug Fister (11-13, 2.83 ERA in 2011)

Copied and pasted from Thursday's series preview:

Beckett had a very good spring, allowing just two earned runs in 19 innings of work. However, all of the focus recently has been on his health (as usual). Beckett was seen by a specialist earlier this week for a minor injury to his right thumb.

A general lack of press (other than a few fluff pieces) about Beckett's thumb over the past few days tell us that it probably won't be an issue today. It's something that he dealt with throughout last season, and his 2011 numbers speak for themselves.

As for Fister, I will direct you to johmoz's excellent fanpost on whether he is due for a healthy dose of regression a la Doyle Alexander in 1988, or if Fister is the real deal. If his stellar spring numbers (4-0, 1.86 ERA in 19 1/3 innings) are any indication, we could be in for a great year.

Panic in Boston!

The Red Sox bullpen is getting plenty of press after giving up two runs -- including Austin Jackson's walk-off RBI single -- on Thursday. Obviously the losses of Jonathan Papelbon and Andrew Bailey hurt, but I think that there is enough talent in that unit for them to get by. There's a strong possibility that they inquire about John Lannan, though Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is still playing hard-to-get (as he should). Of course, facing someone other than Justin Verlander and scoring before the 9th inning will also help. The mini-crisis that has occurred in New England since Thursday afternoon is mostly a product of it being Opening Day and then having an off-day afterward.

Outlook

While all of the pomp and circumstance (and other stuff) of Opening Day obviously gave both teams some jitters on Thursday, I don't think we'll see much more offense today. Both Beckett and Fister seem like they are in a good rhythm after Spring Training, and both will work deep into the game if they are on. However, with temperatures predicted to reach the 60s, don't be surprised if we see the ball carry a little better than it did a couple days ago.

Prediction

No score predictions, but I think that Prince Fielder gets his first home run as a Tiger today.

Gameday Reading:

VIDEO: 'Verlander is Verlander' - Boston.com
Jon Lester and Bobby Valentine give their takes on their Opening Day loss to the Tigers.

Eckersley and Smoltz weigh in on Bard - Boston Globe, Chad Finn
Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz give their takes on whether Daniel Bard, currently slotted as the Red Sox' fifth starter, should move back to the bullpen.

Let's Overreact About The Red Sox' Bullpen! - Over the Monster, Ben Buchanan
Naturally, an SB Nation site is more level-headed than their local mainstream media. What a surprise.

Felix Doubront traded to Chicago White Sox - Over the Monster
BYB readers who were around during the playoffs last season may remember TheLoneDavid, a brave Red Sox fan who joined us during the Yankees series and stuck around for a while. David punked his fellow Red Sox fans with this beauty on April Fools Day. Well done, sir.