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Open Thread - Game 56: Tigers (31-24) at Indians (34-20)

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Jeremy Bonderman (4-0, 3.34) vs. Jeremy Sowers (1-5, 6.29), 1:05 p.m. EST

I apologize to anyone who may have stopped by looking for a recap or post-game thread last night, but between the length of the game (3 hours, 44 minutes - and I think those 44 minutes were taken up by Jim Leyland arguing with the umpires) and watching the end of the Detroit Pistons' era of Eastern Conference dominance in the NBA, going off to snoozeville and coming back today seemed like a better idea.

As disappointed as I am with the Pistons losing, however, it's a bit of a relief in that my attention won't be divided and I can now - with a clear sports fan conscience - devote myself fully to the Tigers. (Maybe you didn't notice, and if not, that's great.) Any of the studs out there running around with two or three girlfriends, I don't know how you do it, bro'. Three cans of Red Bull? IV cocktails before bed? It's too much work. Or at least I imagine it is.

But let's talk about the Detroit team that did beat a Cleveland team last night. Though the weather has been grey and rainy in Detroit this morning, it's sunny and peachy in Tigersland. The birds were singing, the early morning joggers and walkers had more pep in their step. (Even the elderly couples were holding hands and nuzzling. Get a room, kids!) Breakfast tasted better, coffee was more robust. Showers and shaves were more invigorating.

The Detroit Tigers finally won a game versus the Cleveland Indians. This time, their bullpen actually held up a four-run lead. Oh, the things we used to take for granted...

And with today's pitching match-up, there seems to be a good chance for Detroit to salvage a split. Considering how their late-inning relief let them down on Thursday and Friday, that's nothing to scoff at. (Do the Tigers get credit for showing some resolve and bouncing back? Sure. But like I said yesterday, it's not like the schedule gave them much choice. They had to keep playing. There's just far too much of the season to go. It's not like they could just give up and go home, as a certain Detroit professional basketball team did last night.)

Bonderman has won his last four starts, and that's sort of funny (though not to him, I'd bet) since he probably pitched much better in his first four starts of the season, in which he went winless. And of all the guys in the starting rotation, Bondo seems most likely to give that embattled bullpen something of a day off today with a longer outing.

On the other side, Sowers will probably be out of the Indians' starting rotation once Jake Westbrook returns from the disabled list. And even if he wasn't already having a disappointing season, Sowers might be looking at a rough day today because the Tigers mash left-handed pitching (.302 team average).