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Open Thread - Game 97: Tigers (58-38) at White Sox (43-54)

Andrew Miller (5-3, 3.18) vs. Mark Buerhle (7-5, 2.91), 8:11 p.m. EST

Five games in four nights begins this evening at U.S. Cellular Field, as the Tigers see if heading back on the road shakes them out of their weekend malaise. After getting swept in Boston, the White Sox have lost 11 of 19 games in July and don't appear to be playing well at all. This series looks like a potential deathtrap to me, but if Chicago really is done for this season, Detroit doesn't usually let bad teams beat them.

For some reason, Andrew Miller has found himself matched up with several fellow left-handers this season. But he pitched well against Johan Santana in his last start, despite flirting with some danger in the fifth inning. And he seems to be improving - especially with his secondary pitches - with each game.

Mark Buehrle somehow allowed only one run despite giving up 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings for a win last week against Cleveland. But that seems to be his game, as he's surrended two or runs or less in his last eight starts. This will be Buehrle's first start at home since signing his $56 million extension with the White Sox, so he might get a lot of love from the fans tonight. In his career against the Tigers, Buehrle has an 11-7 record and 2.92 ERA.

But I'm not sure that's so scary these days. Have I mentioned the Tigers' averages against lefties this week? .299/.358/.506. Put that on the board.

That reminds me: None of these five games will be on WGN, so we won't even be tempted to subject ourselves to Hawk and DJ. (And I don't know about you, but I think I would've clicked over. Once in a while, I can't help myself. I tell myself it's so I can appreciate good baseball announcers.)

And in case you haven't heard, Mike Hessman was called up by the Tigers this afternoon and will start at first base tonight, giving Detroit another right-handed bat against Buehrle.