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Open Thread - Game 154: Royals (66-86) at Tigers (83-70)

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Billy Buckner (1-1, 4.30) vs. Jair Jurrjens (3-1, 2.84), 7:05 p.m. EST

It's the final homestand of the season at Comerica Park, as the Detroit Tigers wind down through the remaining nine games on the schedule. Brandon Inge insists he'll keep going hard as long as they're mathematically in the race. For the sake of the many who shelled out for tickets to close out the 2007 home season, I hope he's right (and speaks for his teammates).

Judging from this week's poll results (have you voted yet?), many of you expect Jair Jurrjens to be a part of the Tigers' starting rotation next year. And if his five previous starts haven't already earned a spot, he'll get at least two more chances this season to show he deserves it. But it's hard to imagine him pitching much better than he already has. In his last four starts, Jurrjens hasn't given up more than one run.

Billy Buckner also gave up only one run in his last start, versus those infernal Cleveland Indians. In his two starts before that, however, he was knocked around pretty good. When he's struggled, Buckner has had a problem with walks. And just in case you were wondering, he's not related to that Bill Buckner. But he does have Billy "Boom Boom" Butler in his lineup, and he's been quite the Tigers killer this season (.361/.395/.611 in 36 at-bats vs. Detroit).

Your SB Nation opposing view for this final three-game tango with the Royals is brought to you by Royals Review.

Short Hops:

▪▪ The Tigers released their 2008 home schedule. The Detroit Tigers Weblog runs down the first glance highlights.

▪▪ Jason Beck says either Yorman Bazardo or Jeremy Bonderman (is that really necessary?) will start against the Twins on Tuesday.

▪▪ Danny Knobler says Andrew Miller will report to the Tigers' instructional league team on Monday.