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Open Thread - Game 132: Tigers (71-60) vs. Royals (57-72)

Nate Robertson (7-10, 4.80) vs. Brian Bannister (10-7, 3.28) , 8:10 p.m. EST

The game thread has to go up early today, as I'm finally making the drive back to Michigan and will be on the road all day. Being away from the computer surely means that the Tigers will make some kind of move today, because that's the way it's worked all season. We know, however, that Detroit won't acquire Babe Ruth, as "Babe Ruth doesn't clear waivers," according to Jim Leyland.

(By the way, when did The Babe become the benchmark comparison in the Tigers' clubhouse? First, Brandon Inge is getting pitched like Babe Ruth. Now, the Tigers have no hope of acquiring him at the waiver deadline.)

Winning three out of four against the Yankees was big, and could be the "spark" that the Tigers need to stay in the AL Central and Wild Card races through the last 30 games of the season. But if Detroit can't start beating teams they should beat, any progress they've made in the past few days is going to be short-lived. The Royals and A's are hardly automatic wins on the schedule, but if the Tigers are the team we all think they are, they need to assert themselves in these next two series.

Nate Robertson was outstanding in his last start, shutting out the Indians and allowing only four hits over 8 2/3 innings. But Robertson not only didn't get the win, but the Tigers lost the game. Wasting such an effort was borderline criminal. But if Robertson can carry that good juju over to tonight's start, the Tigers have a great chance to win.

It won't be easy against Brian Bannister, however. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in his last seven starts, losing only once in that span. Bannister is the first Royals rookie to win 10 games since former Tiger Rusty Meacham in 1992. (I should've made that a trivia question. Oh, well. Those aren't as fun anymore with Google at our fingertips.)

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