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Open Thread - Game 137: Tigers (73-63) vs. Athletics (67-70)

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Nate Robertson (7-11, 5.04) vs. Dallas Braden (1-7, 6.32), 4:05 p.m. EST

First, I'd just like to say how thankful I am for the sport of baseball. As an Ann Arbor resident, I felt like spending much of yesterday locked away in my basement after Michigan's historic 34-32 loss to Appalachian State. Over the past week, I realized how little attention I'd been paying to football since blogging here at BYB. Today, however, I really don't have a problem with that.

So how about winning another series? Wasn't it fun when the Tigers did that last weekend against the Yankees? Wouldn't it be totally cool if they did it again, with a win over the A's today?

Plus, winning games keeps them in the AL Central race, though the Cleveland Indians apparently have no intention of ever losing another game. By contrast, however, the Seattle Mariners suddenly look incapable of winning a game and seem content with letting the Tigers leapfrog them in the Wild card standings.

Nate Robertson appears to be settling into a good start/bad start pattern. Since he was dog meat in his last start, serving up six runs in 4 1/3 innings to the Royals, we have the right to expect a decent effort today. In two starts against the A's this season, Robertson is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA.

Dallas Braden gets another start against the Tigers, thanks to the A's giving Esteban Loaiza away to the Dodgers earlier this week. But Braden certainly earned a shot after striking out 17 batters in a complete game three-hitter in his last minor league start. It's worth noting, however, that the Tigers had something to do with Braden going back down to the minors, as they shelled him for eight runs and seven hits (two of them home runs) in just 1 2/3 innings in his last major league start.

Marcus Thames and Brandon Inge are back in the lineup today, while Pudge Rodriguez, Carlos Guillen, Sean Casey, and Curtis Granderson get the day off. Cameron Maybin will lead off and play center field, Ryan Raburn once again bats third, and Mike Hessman gets the call at first base this afternoon.