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Open Thread - Game 37: Tigers (23-13) at Red Sox (25-11), 7:05 p.m. EST

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Nate Robertson (3-2, 3.43) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-2, 4.80)

The two hottest teams in the American League hook up for four games, beginning this evening at Fenway Park. Within the AL, only the Red Sox have a better record than the Tigers right now. After not completing a sweep at the Metrodome, let's hope the Tigers fall off like the Twins did (3-8), when they couldn't finish off a sweep at Comerica Park two weeks ago.

And tonight, we get our first look at the burgeoning legend that is Dice-K and his mythical gyroball. Does he throw it... or doesn't he? Jim Leyland has no time for such nonsense. (Actually, Matsuzaka's been on ESPN at least a couple of times now, so even if you don't have MLB Extra Innings or MLB.TV, more than a few of you have probably seen him pitch.) He's been pretty generous with giving up runs in three of his last four starts, so the Tigers' blazing bats could be catching him at the right time. Dice-K's also been able to rack up the strikeouts, however, so this could be a good test of Detroit's new patient approach at the plate.

Robertson's last start was a strange one, as he looked unhittable in the first three innings against the Mariners, and then somehow just crumbled. He couldn't keep his pitches down, Seattle began to knock the ball all over the park, and Gum Time was spit into the trash. In five career starts against Boston, Robertson has a 1-2 record and 6.75 ERA (in 29 1/3 innings).

Your SB Nation opposing view for the series comes from Over the Monster. And please stop by tomorrow when we'll play "Blogging With the Enemy" with a Red Sox blogger many Tigers fans know and love.

Short Hops:

▪▪ As other Tigers blogs have already mentioned, left-hander Tim Byrdak was called up from AAA Toledo after last night's game while Virgil Vasquez was shipped back down. Byrdak takes Joel Zumaya's spot in the bullpen, and the prevailing wisdom seems to be that Detroit thinks he'll come in (left) handy against the Red Sox. He was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA over 22 innings with the Mud Hens.

Stats of Interest (via the official pre-game notes):

  • Magglio Ordonez is hitting .368 (91-for-247) in his career vs. Boston.
  • Gary Sheffield has a .325 (53-for-163) career average at Fenway Park.