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Game 107 Preview: Indians at Tigers

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DETROIT, MI - JULY 18: Doug Fister #58 of the Detroit Tigers throws a first inning pitch while playing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Comerica Park on July 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 18: Doug Fister #58 of the Detroit Tigers throws a first inning pitch while playing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Comerica Park on July 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Cleveland Indians (50-56) at Detroit Tigers (56-50)

Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: Let's Go Tribe

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

Pitching Matchup: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (8-10, 5.08 ERA) vs. RHP Doug Fister (5-7, 3.77 ERA)

Jimenez has some sort of voodoo hold over the Tigers this season, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.93 ERA in 3 starts against Detroit. Against other teams, he's 6-10 with a 5.64 ERA. One silver lining for the Tigers is that Jimenez is 4-7 with a 6.68 ERA on the road this season. These splits didn't really help them when he shut them down for 6+ innings on June 5th, but the offense has perked up considerably since then as well.

Fister's last start was a much-needed dominant performance against the highest scoring offense in baseball and showed that his previous outing against these same Indians -- which wasn't even all that bad -- was a bit of a fluke. Since the All-Star Break, Fister is once again pitching out of his mind. He has struck out 31 hitters in 30 innings while allowing a slash line of .202/.239/.288. His BABIP during that time is a very sustainable .278. Expect more of the same today from Fister, who was particularly masterful against the Indians in the second half of 2011, allowing just 2 earned runs in his three non-rain-shortened starts against them in August and September.

Happy Meet-Up Day!

Good morning, I'll be your host all day while all of our other editors -- minus Kurt, who is camping -- are at the festivities this afternoon. If you are attending or want to swing by to say hi, your instructions are here. I'll bump that post back to the top of the queue sometime this afternoon. If you're not attending, don't make a mess. The last thing I have time for is cleaning up after you hooligans all day tomorrow. Whether you're going or not, don't forget to tip your bartender.

Outlook

This one entirely depends on whether Jimenez can maintain his strand rate of roughly a gazillion percent against the Tigers this season. He has walked 9 hitters in his three starts and has shown a Houdini-like ability to wiggle his way out of jam after jam. I feel very confident that Fister will be lights out once again, if only because he's shown us nothing else in August and September since joining the Tigers last year. Plugging Brennan Boesch into the 5 slot seems to have given this team a boost and Andy Dirks looked to be in mid-season form during last night's game. If the bottom half of the order starts producing anything positive, this team is going to be scary.

Prediction

The offense finally gets to Jimenez and BYB improves to 2-1 on meet-up days.

Gameday Reading:

The 2012 BYB Meet-Up: Where and when to find us on Saturday - Bless You Boys
In case you missed yesterday's post, Allison has all the details for Saturday's BYB Meet-Up.

Game 106: Tigers 10, Indians 2 - Let's Go Tribe
"When will it end? Will it end at all?" Forecast: nothing but pain for the next two days.

Tigers Master Indians, Paint Them Red, Leave Them for Dead - Walkoff Woodward, Josh Worn
Doc was apparently a little loopy last night, but PitchFX graphs!