Joe Blanton (9-8, 3.71) vs. Jordan Tata (1-1, 3.75), 7:05 p.m. EST
It would be nice to see the Tigers get some payback against a team that took two out of three in Oakland last week, contributing to this current slog of hellish baseball that we've been subjected to. This series might get off to a good start with Jordan Tata going tonight for Detroit. He and Nate Robertson are the two guys in the rotation who have given the Tigers a quality start lately. And he's still the only starter in the last three weeks (!!!) to earn a win.
Last time out, Tata wasn't great vs. the White Sox, giving up three runs in five innings, along with five hits and four walks. But if he'd received any kind of run support from his teammates, it probably would've been enough to win. Alas, that's how it's been going with the Tigers lately. Hopefully, the A's don't have a better read on Tata now that they've seen him already.
In his last start, Joe Blanton held the Angels to one run in seven innings. (And we know all too well how explosive that lineup can be.) But it was also Blanton's first win in his past six starts, and the first time he hadn't given up at least four runs during that span. He gives up a lot of hits, averaging about seven a game. The Tigers knocked nine off of him, and scored five runs, when they faced Blanton in Oakland. The Tigers (and Tata) went on to win that game, 5-2.
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▪▪ In case you haven't heard and you have tickets for tomorrow's game, the start time has been moved from 3:55 p.m. to 7:05 p.m., as Fox passed on a national telecast (ouch!) and FSN Detroit will take it now.
▪▪ Quick rant here: I don't know if it was because yesterday's loss to the Devil Rays was a matinee, and thus considered a little less current. Or maybe any time the Lions win a game - pre-season or otherwise - it's considered a big deal in this town. (And unless you were at the game, you probably didn't know the result until two hours later because of the TV blackout.)
But I couldn't believe that the Lions knocked the Tigers off the front page of the sports section today. The same was true in the Ann Arbor News. Seriously?! Is that how bad it's gotten, now that the Tigers are losing some games? I thought Detroit was a baseball town again. I hope this was because of the matinee. Otherwise, the sports editors at the Detroit papers are out of touch. Or maybe I am. Lunch did not go down easy today.
▪▪ Congratulations to Brandon Inge, whose wife gave birth to their second child. It would've been nice if a certain Tigers blogger's mother who happens to work at the hospital where the birth took place tried to score an interview for her hard-working son. Okay, maybe the timing wasn't appropriate. But so what? She's going to retire soon, anyway! It's not like she'd get fired. C'mon, man! Push the envelope!
Omar Infante will sub for Inge at third base for the second game in a row.