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Game 44 Preview: Tigers at Indians

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CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 8: Starting pitcher Justin Masterson #63 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the second inning at Progressive Field on May 8, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 8: Starting pitcher Justin Masterson #63 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the second inning at Progressive Field on May 8, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians

Time/Place: 12:00 p.m., Progressive Field

SB Nation Blog: Let's Go Tribe

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

Note: Last night's game left me a little drained, so today's preview is going to be a bit more random.

Pitching Matchup: Justin Verlander (5-1, 2.14 ERA) vs. Justin Masterson (1-3, 5.04 ERA)

Masterson was born in Kingston, Jamaica, which makes me wonder why he didn't take up the national sport of bobsledding* instead of this baseball nonsense. At 6'6", 250 lbs. you would think that gravity would be hard at work pulling that sled down the track to bring the Jamaicans their first Olympic gold since Cool Runnings came out. I am glad, however, that Masterson does not have dreadlocks. It rarely works for people with his skin tone, and he lives in the Midwest -- what a deadly combination.

Masterson went to college at San Diego State, which probably makes him angry that he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and then traded to the Indians. "Seriously, can't a warm weather team sign me?" Surely, this must be going through his head. "And don't call me Shirley," he retorts. Personally, I wouldn't mind if we saw him traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a three team deal before the game starts. The D-Backs get Masterson and Daniel Schlereth, we get Justin Upton, and the Indians get a cactus.

*Not actually Jamaica's official sport, I think

Hopefully Verlander brought some cash, because he's going to need a cab to get to Taco Bell. Well, this hypothetical trip already happened, but you get the point. There isn't a Taco Bell within 4.5 miles of Progressive Field. If it's just indigestion he wants, Lake Erie is about half a mile away.

Dear Manny Acta...

Joe Maddon called. He wants his glasses back.

Outlook

Given that Verlander was only our second best pitcher the last time through the rotation (kidding, just kidding), I think we can reasonably expect another solid outing from him again today. Meanwhile, Masterson is such a fan of watching Miguel Cabrera hit a baseball, he can't help himself but serve up BP fastballs when he's on the mound. Cabrera has a .467 average against Masterson in 22 career plate appearances.

Prediction

Justin gets a win today.

Gameday Reading:

Getting And Not Getting The Calls - Baseball Nation, Jeff Sullivan
Swiped this from the morning links, but it fits here too. Masterson gets a special mention as being one of the unluckiest pitchers so far. Hopefully this continues today.

Game 43: Indians 4, Tigers 2 - Let's Go Tribe
"Now that the Indians have already won the series, facing Justin Verlander tomorrow feels like playing with house money."

Rod Allen Japan - YouTube
Because everyone needs a pick-me-up this morning