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Open Thread - Game 57: Tigers (32-24) at Rangers (20-37)

Nate Robertson (4-5, 4.25) vs. John Rheinecker (0-0, -.--), 8:35 p.m. EST

After pulling themselves together and salvaging a split in Cleveland, the Tigers begin a three-game series tonight against... well, there's really no kind way to say this... the worst team in Major League Baseball. At least in terms of record.

How bad are things getting down in Arlington? Well, just this morning, our SB Nation broham Lone Star Ball posted links to several columns that detail the bad decisions the Rangers have made, call for the owner to sell the franchise, and highlight tensions between the manager and players over the team's hitting philosophy. Oh, and another columnist thinks the Rangers should follow the Tigers' example. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Rheinecker is an emergency starter for Vincente Padilla, who is suffering from arm irritation. He was pulled from his scheduled start for Triple-A Oklahoma last night, in case he was needed for tonight. Rheinecker has only pitched in two games after a stay on the 60-day disabled list due to a bad back. In two starts, he didn't allow a run over 11 innings, but also earned no decisions. He struck out five batters and walked three.

For the Tigers, Robertson hasn't made it to the sixth inning in his last five starts. And his last two games, he's given up four and five runs, respectively. Jim Leyland made a comment after losing to Tampa Bay that Robertson's back was bothering him, but there hasn't been any word of a lingering injury.

Your SB Nation opposing view for this series, as already mentioned, comes from Lone Star Ball. We'll be hearing more from Adam tomorrow.

Short Hops:

▪▪ You might want to keep an eye on Akinori Otsuka and Eric Gagne if and when they pitch in this series. Jon Paul Morosi brought up their names as trade possibilities in today's Free Press.

▪▪ Carlos Guillen agrees with Gary Sheffield, according to Danny Knobler.

▪▪ John Lowe will miss Jose Mesa. (Now seating a party of one.)

▪▪ Magglio Ordonez (who's now up to 5th in All-Star voting for AL outfielders) gets some out-of-town love from the Miami Herald. (via Mack Avenue Tigers)

▪▪ And if you get a chance, please chime in on a diary posted by one of the regulars from Pinstripe Alley. He has a trade idea for the Yankees and Tigers, and wants to know what people think of it.