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Open Thread - Game 153: Tigers (83-69) vs. Indians (89-62)

Nate Robertson (8-11, 4.93) vs. C.C. Sabathia (17-7, 3.21), 12:05 p.m. EST

It would be nice for the Tigers to avoid being swept by the Indians in what may have been the most important series of this season. But the fatal damage has already been done by losing the first two games. Seeing the Tribe come back from three-run deficits in both games just an extra twist to the knife.

As much as I'd love to make fun of Indians fans' nerdy references to the number 5 (Cleveland's magic number to clinch the AL Central) or scoff at their ear-bleeding choices for a post-season anthem, doing so would just make me a sore loser. The fact is that their team gave them the right to strut and shout, while our team has us wanting to hide and pout.

If you go by his recent good start/bad start pattern, Nate Robertson is due to get mashed this afternoon. The last time he faced Cleveland, Robertson was absolutely brilliant, pitching 8 2/3 shutout innings and allowing just four hits. But he didn't get the win in what was one of the most frustrating efforts of the season for the Tigers. In three starts against the Indians this season, Robertson has posted an 0-1 record and 3.72 ERA.

For the Indians, C.C. Sabathia was rocked a bit by the Royals in his last start. But even though he gave up four runs in seven innings, he still notched 13 strikeouts. The Tigers have been able to knock Sabathia around in his four starts against them, but he pitched well the last time he faced Detroit. This would be the guy you'd want on the mound if you wanted to finish this series off with an emphatic statement.

Anyone for salvaging some pride and dignity today?