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Games 145 & 146: Rangers (68-74) vs. Tigers (78-66)

Game 1:
Vincente Padilla (5-9, 6.01) vs. Chad Durbin (8-6, 4.57), 1:05 p.m. EST

Game 2:
Brandon McCarthy (5-8, 4.79) vs. Jair Jurrjens (1-1, 3.60), 7:05 p.m. EST

I'll be away from the computer for most of the afternoon, and will be joining my fellow Detroit Tigers bloggers at Comerica Park this evening (tickets still remain, if you're interested in meeting up with us), so the doubleheader will have to go into one open thread. (If I get a chance, I'll try to post a brief recap of Game 1.) Do with it what you will.

So what could provide better juice to get through a day-night doubleheader than last night's thrilling, almost inexplicable ninth-inning comeback over the Blue Jays? Jim Leyland looked more alive after the game than he has in weeks. But as he said in his post-game interview, if the Tigers don't pitch well in today's games, the glow from that victory will fade pretty fast and it'll just be another game.

(Let's hope that Toronto isn't devastated from that loss, by the way. They need to beat up on the Yankees over the next three nights.)

Both of the starters in the matinee portion of today's doubleheader are coming off impressive outings in which they shut out the opposition. Vincente Padilla, however, has one of the more brutal home-road splits you'll see, and that could give the Tigers the advantage. On the road this year, Padilla is 1-6 with a 9.06 ERA in 10 starts.

And the nightcap has some mystery to it, as both starters are returning from the disabled list. Neither Brandon McCarthy or Jair Jurrjens will likely be expected to pitch more than five innings - if either of them can even make it that far. Both pitchers were throwing well before getting injured, but who knows what to expect tonight? Well, the Detroit and Texas bullpens should probably expect to get some work in.

No word yet on Pudge Rodriguez's status, in lieu of the dizziness that caused him to leave last night's game early. That would make a long day for Mike Rabelo, as it seems doubtful the team would start Dane Sardinha in either game.

Your SB Nation opposing view for this series is brought to you by Lone Star Ball.

Game 1 Mini-Recap: Ye gahds, man. Could you tell which team had last night off and which one had to play? The Rangers definitely brought their big boy bats with them, as it was Home Run Derby this afternoon. Seven Texas home runs? Are you kidding? Tigers pitching made Marlon Byrd and David Murphy look like stars.

And does anyone want to see Jose Capellan in a Tigers uniform next season? Well, maybe those who want a souvenir baseball in the outfield... Dude was pitching batting practice out there. Clay Rapada is showing us why the Cubs gave him up for Craig Monroe, too. Is he going to give up a home run every time he appears in a game?

The Tigers can't possibly play worse in the second half of the doubleheader. Can they?

Game 2 Mini-Recap: Now that is more like it. Jair Jurrjens pitched like someone who wants to be in the Tigers' starting rotation next year. (Unlike, say, Jose Capellan, who pitched in Game 1 like someone who wants to be in the Long Island Ducks' bullpen next year.) Gary Sheffield got his first hit (and RBI) since returning from the disabled list. I won a dollar when Todd Jones got a 1-2-3 save. (Don't gamble, kids.) And the 2nd annual Tigers bloggers meet-up was a good time. (More on that later, especially when Sam posts her photos from the ballpark.)