Tigers' Zimmermann seeks consistency in rematch vs. White Sox (Jun 03, 2017)
DETROIT -- Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was seen as being a key to Detroit's success this season and he's been a model of consistency -- but not the sort of consistency the Tigers were hoping.
Zimmermann will make his second straight start against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday and hopes to get his record back above .500 and his slider/fastball combination back on track.
"I used to be able to throw the slider consistently for a strike behind in the count and I could keep hitters off my fastball," Zimmermann said after his last start. "I am not able to do that right now and they are smashing my fastball."
Zimmermann (4-4, 6.47 ERA) has made five starts of six innings, four lasting between five and 5 2/3 innings and one of 4 2/3 innings. But he's given up 16 home runs among 70 hits in 55 2/3 innings.
He faced the White Sox in Chicago last Sunday and gave up seven runs on eight hits in five innings in taking the loss. Zimmermann is making his eighth start against the White Sox and is 4-2 with a 5.63 ERA.
"When I was able to throw my slider, I could get them out front and maybe miss the barrel," Zimmermann said. "I am not able to do that now.
"My fastball command has been getting better all year. That's why my last few starts before this one were getting better and better. But the second time through the order, I knew they were going to be on the fastball and I didn't have anything to get them off it.
"(The slider has) been absolutely terrible. I haven't been anywhere close. I have to figure out how to throw it again and get back to how it used to be."
Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (3-5, 6.99 ERA) will start for the White Sox, having halted a five-game losing streak in his last start, a win over Detroit in Chicago in which he retired the first 18 batters. Andrew Romine reached base on a single to begin the seventh, a ball that originally was ruled an error.
Gonzalez has a 3-5 career record against Detroit over 12 appearances but his ERA is 7.02. Ten of those 12 games have been starts. He was tagged for six runs in six innings earlier this season at Comerica Park.
The White Sox may have to make a bullpen change prior to Saturday's game. Right-hander Michael Ynoa had to come out of Friday night's game with a sore right quad.
"We'll have to re-evaluate in the morning," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said, "and make a decision then."