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Open Thread - Game 84: Red Sox (53-31) at Tigers (49-34)

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Julian Tavarez (5-6, 4.39) vs. Andrew Miller (3-2, 3.81), 7:05 p.m. EST

Following the loss of their bench mascot/spiritual leader, the Tigers have to compose themselves to face the AL-best Red Sox for another measuring stick series. Back in May, Detroit lost two out of three in Boston. Things could be different at Comerica Park, but the team hasn't played all that well on this homestand, losing five of nine. But after taking the last two vs. Cleveland, and getting their bats warmed up again, maybe the Tigers have finally settled back into a groove.

Andrew Miller didn't look so good in his first start against an American League team, as the Twins roughed him up for six runs (five earned) in five innings. On the other side, Julian Tavarez has pitched well in his last four starts, though he's lost two in a row. When he faced the Tigers at Fenway Park, he was very good, giving up only one run (on four hits) in seven innings. Meanwhile, I might get hammered tonight as I'll take a sip of beer every time Tavarez tugs the bill of his cap and wipes his forehead. (He's not Rafael Betancourt, of course, but he gets pretty skittish out there.) Oh, if only I could live blog...

Your SB Nation opposing view for this series is presented by Over the Monster.

Short Hops:

▪▪ Pudge Rodriguez is out of the lineup tonight, since he usually sits out a day game after a night game, but played yesterday.

▪▪ There's now a Detroit rooting interest in Monday's All-Star Home Run Derby. Contrary to previous assertions, Magglio Ordonez has agreed to participate in the contest. Hopefully, it doesn't mess up his swing, as it has for some guys (Bobby Abreu, David Wright).