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Off-Day Business

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--Two out of three from the World Champs ain't bad, even if it could have been a sweep. Don't look now, but the Tigers have won 4 of 5. The Red Sox's inability to find any decent relievers or more than 2 or 3 average starters highlights the fact that there may not be any terrific teams in baseball this year. The Cardinals look like the best of the bunch, but how long can backups having career years carry them? Someone like Cleveland or Florida could definitely sneak into the playoffs and win the whole thing on the back of some hot pitching.

--Bonderman's slider looked nasty yesterday, though he struggled against a lineup of impressive hitters. We got a little lucky in the first against David Wells, and then hung on, though a gutsy and well executed suicide squeeze brought in the fifth run and brought me to my feet. If the game had been scheduled for 11 innings instead of 9, though, we would have lost 7-6.

--The Blue Jays come to town next, and though we'll miss Roy Halladay again, they look to be a tough opponent. The Jays are six games above .500 and have a better run differential than the White Sox, Yankees, and A's, and only slightly worse than the Angels and Red Sox. They're having a terrific season, completely under the radar. I bet the average fan can't name any Jays past Halladay and Vernon Wells. If you're this average fan, here's some you shoud know: Aaron Hill, a rookie, making a name for himself at third and short, and Orlando Hudson, a one-time big prospect who plays stellar defense at second and is blazingly fast.

--Even with the team's much publicized bullpen and managerial woes, the Tigers have won four straight one-run games to improve their record in those contests to 17-20. Last year, they were 12-27 in one-run games and close to .500 in all others. It's probably just proof that these games aren't that meaningful, but if we blame Tiger decision makers when close shaves go against them, we should give them credit when things start to turn around.

--Lots of nonsense is going around about Pudge and locker room shenanigans, and I'll link to it, but I'm trying hard not to pay attention to it.

--I won't be back online until after tomorrow night's game, so use this as your open thread, should you feel the urge to discuss the game.