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Open Thread - Game 67: Tigers (38-28) at Phillies (35-32)

Andrew Miller (2-0, 3.18) vs. Jamie Moyer (5-5, 4.55), 7:05 p.m. EST

Any chance we get to exhale with a pleasant 4-2 type of ballgame tonight? I've watched enough games at Citizens Bank Park to know how small it plays, but until your team is actually involved in one of the games, I guess you don't realize just how precarious a lead can be. I love home runs as much as anyone else, but that ballpark might be out of control. I have to see a game in Philadelphia someday, just to compare the field and distances to those in Comerica Park.

I'm definitely looking forward to watching Miller pitch again, but I have to say that I'm also a bit worried about tonight's start. For one thing, it's his first on the road. And as we saw last night, the ballpark is berry, berry good to the home run ball. However, the Phillies only hit .246 against left-handed pitching. Chase Utley (.330/.450/.557) is outstanding, but he's that kind of player. Jimmy Rollins (.286/.330/.490) is okay, too. But Ryan Howard's performance against lefties (.188/.321/.406, 32 strikeouts in 69 at-bats) is kind of brutal. And how about the right-handed hitting Pat Burrell (.161/.329/.339)? Those numbers shouldn't be shown to children.

Also working in Miller's favor tonight is the opposing pitcher being left-handed. Detroit hits just a little bit better in that match-up. Brandon Inge's OPS is 1.129. Magglio, 1.202. Craig Monroe, 1.029. Gary Sheffield, 1.022. Curtis Granderson is the only one whose numbers you don't want to look at. But even he might play tonight since Moyer's a soft-tossing lefty. Otherwise, we'll probably see Monroe in centerfield tonight. And if you're recording the game, you might want to tack on an extra 30 or 60 minutes.

I don't know what's come over me with posting all these numbers. Maybe it's because I ate chicken with my eggs this morning, instead of bacon or sausage. I'm just trying to be different today. Or maybe I just wanted to type something else besides "The Tigers pound left-handed pitching."