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Open Thread - Game 49: Indians (30-17) at Tigers (29-19), 8:05 p.m. EST

Fausto Carmona (5-1, 2.77) vs. Mike Maroth (3-1, 4.94)

Thousands of Cleveland and Detroit fans could develop tendinitis in their thumbs and wrists tonight, flipping between this game and Game 3 of Pistons-Cavaliers on TNT. Fortunately, we have a holiday to apply ice and heat on the affected areas tomorrow. Let's just hope you don't hurt your grilling hand tonight.

The Tigers have faced getting swept by both the White Sox and Twins at home this season, but were able to win the third game in each series. Will they be able to continue that pattern tonight and stay within a half-game of first place in the AL Central?

Two weeks ago, Virgil Vasquez seemed overwhelmed by the significance of having his first major league start televised nationally on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, and the Tigers were crushed by the Twins, 16-4. Maroth likely won't be as dazzled by the spotlight, but he has yet to win a game at Comerica Park in 2007. And in his last start, the win parade finally ended, with the Tigers losing a game in which Maroth pitched for the first time this season.

However, he did go for seven innings against the Angels, which is the kind of effort the Tigers and their battered bullpen could really use tonight.

As the numbers indicate, Carmona has been a revelation, pitching far better than most teams have a right to expect from their fifth starter. His five-game winning streak ended in his last start against the Royals, but he didn't get the loss in what was one of his shortest outings of the season. Before that game, however, Carmona had been pretty close to dominant over his last five starts.

In his career against Detroit, Carmona has a 1-1 career record. That includes a blown save last August that capped off what might have been one of the worst weeks a reliever has ever had (four losses, three blown saves).

Short Hops:

▪▪ Quo Vadimus' solution to the Tigers' relief problems? Move Chad Durbin to the bullpen, and call Andrew Miller back up to take that spot in the starting rotation.

▪▪ As if that trade already didn't look good, today's Free Press nodded to something Eric Young and Eduardo Perez (who's #@$%ing awful) talked about last night on Baseball Tonight: The Yankees miss Gary Sheffield.

(Here's the Murray Chass article - Where Have You Gone, Gary Sheffield? - that started the whole discussion.)