The final home series of the season begins tonight for the Tigers, and we'll see if they can play the Twins as well at Comerica Park as they have at the Metrodome recently. Detroit has won its last six games against Minnesota, all of which have been in Minneapolis. The Tigers finished with an 8-1 record at the Metrodome this season. Yet at Comerica Park, the Twins have a 4-2 record.
Part of the reason the Tigers have been so successful against the Twins lately is Nate Robertson. He's allowed just two runs in his last 14 innings versus Minnesota. Both of those games were at the Metrodome, however, so maybe Chuck Hernandez should try hypnotizing Robertson to make him think he has a teflon roof over his head. Tonight's game also falls on the plus side of Robertson's good start/bad start pattern, so that could work in Detroit's favor, as well.
Yesterday, Jim Leyland said Robertson is penciled in for next year's starting rotation. I realize he could be hard to replace - especially when three spots might need to be filled - but I'm not so sure Robertson's job status for next season should be secure. Maybe a .500 pitcher is the best to be expected for a rotation's fifth starter. Robertson eats up quite a few innings, too. But he's eligible for arbitration after this season. Do the Tigers really want to give him a multi-year contract to avoid that?
Watch out for a potentially big base-stealing night for the Tigers. The Star Tribune's Joe Christensen is reporting that the Twins will start Matthew LeCroy at catcher. And it might be a good move, since he has a .565 (13-for-23) average and four home runs against Robertson. But the last time LeCroy started at catcher was May 2006 for the Washington Nationals, and the Houston Astros stole seven bases on him. Frank Robinson pulled him from the game (a decision that brought him to tears in a post-game interview) and replaced him with Robert Fick.
Your SB Nation opposing view for this series comes from Twinkie Town.