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ALCS Game 1: Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics

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A week ago the Tigers were in New York about to embark upon a series which no one thought they could win. Today they find themselves in Oakland four wins away from a trip to the World Series.

Tonight's starting pitchers:
Nate Robertson (13-13, 3.84) vs. Barry Zito (16-10, 3.83)

With Barry Zito's sparkling career playoff stats (4-2, 2.43 ERA in six starts), the Tigers will need to take advantage of every bad pitch he throws tonight.

Nate Robertson's playoff debut last week did not go very well (0-1, 11.12 ERA). However patient the A's lineup may be, they are not as intimidating as the Yankees' lineup Robertson faced last Tuesday. It's essential that Robertson maintain his control early in the game. If he can, we should be in for a very good ballgame.

Even though Zito is a lefty, Danny Knobler reports the Tigers will be using the same lineup they used in Games 1, 2 and 4. With Craig Monroe's struggles against Zito (2-for-21), this may not be a bad idea.

The weather forecast for tonight calls for temperatures in the 50s and only a 10% chance of rain. Both pitchers should benefit from the shadows creeping across McAfee Coliseum.

Tonight's game will be televised nationally on FOX. It can be heard locally on WXYT-AM (1270), WDTW-AM (1310), WTKA-AM (1050) and WDFN-AM (1130) will join in progress when the Pistons' preseason game ends.

First pitch is scheduled for 8:19 p.m.