The series that has felt like it would never end finally wraps up with a matinee at The Park Where Pitching Goes to Die. Look, I love baseball. If not, I wouldn't be doing this gig. But the last three nights have been long, torturous slogs. The games feel like they've taken forever to finish. I love home runs, too. But they're easier to appreciate when the ballpark isn't passing them out like candy on Halloween. So I'm kind of happy this thing is ending. I'll be much happier, of course, if the Tigers take the series win today.
It would help if Justin Verlander calmed down a bit, after throwing three wild pitches in his last start (each of which contributed to the five runs he allowed). Plus, he's given up four earned runs in two straight games. Deep breaths, kiddo. Hit the target. The White Sox might not provide the best relaxation, however. Verlander has a 1-4 record and 6.96 ERA (along with a .321 BAA) against them in six career starts.
John Danks is left-handed. And he is young. See where I'm going with this? Dude looks like fresh meat for the Tiger jaws. .306/.364/.510 against lefties, people. Just repeating the numbers. Danks faced Detroit back in April and gave up four runs and nine hits (along with two home runs) in six innings.
Gary Sheffield did end up taking a cortisone shot for his sore shoulder, which means he'll be out of the lineup for a second straight game. And Carlos Guillen will be getting the day off, as well. But Rockin' Ryan Raburn will see if he can continue his hitting magnificence today as the starting right fielder - and batting third.