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Open Thread - Game 148: Tigers (80-67) vs. Twins (72-74)

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Nate Robertson (7-11, 5.04) vs. Matt Garza (3-5, 3.71), 8:10 p.m. EST

The Tigers' last visit to the Metrodome provided one of the highlights of the season, as Detroit posted a surprising three-game sweep behind some outstanding starting pitching. Oh, if only we knew where things would go from there. It's been quite a slog since mid-July. But that sweep was capped off by what may have been Nate Robertson's best performance of the season. The Twins only got three hits in seven innings of shutout baseball.

Does Robertson have another effort like that in him? Well, if he follows his recent Good Nate/Bad Nate pattern, we should expect at least a decent start from him tonight. For the season, Nate is 1-0 against Minnesota with a 1.93 ERA (and 0.86 WHIP).

On the other side, Matt Garza is dealing with his own inconsistencies. Three of his past four starts have been pretty bad, and he seems to be giving up nine hits a game rather routinely now. Garza didn't get the loss in his last start, but the White Sox knocked him around enough to earn one. He gave up five runs (three earned), along with two homers, in just four innings. Against Detroit back in mid-July, Garza pitched seven innings and only allowed one unearned run. Unfortunately for him, Robertson was just a little bit better that night.

Going into tonight's game, the Tigers are 5 1/2 games behind the Indians for the AL Central lead, and 3 1/2 behind the Yankees for the Wild Card spot. How many of you are Red Sox fans this weekend? Go Royals, too.

Your SB Nation opposing view for this weekend's series can be found at Twinkie Town.

Short Hops:

▪▪ Over at The Detroit Tigers Weblog, Billfer has taken Baseball Prospectus' charting of batters' pitch selectivity (or their "eyes") and applied them to the Tigers' lineup.