One night after facing the best starter on the White Sox staff, the Tigers throw their ace against Ozzie Guillen's crew. After getting bombed by the buzzsaw that is the Cleveland Indians, effectively ensuring there would be no October baseball in Detroit, Justin Verlander bounced back with a solid start against the Royals. He's winless in two starts against the White Sox this season with a 3.86 ERA (six runs in 14 innings).
And here's a semi-interesting stat for you: With a quality start tonight, Verlander should become the first Tigers pitcher to post two straight seasons with a sub-4.00 ERA since David Wells in 1994-95.
Since rejoining the White Sox starting rotation, Gavin Floyd has posted four quality starts in five games. It's his last start that tripped him up, however, as he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings to the Twins. But he's pitched well in three starts against the Tigers this year, posting a 1-0 record and 3.24 ERA. Earlier this month, he held Detroit to one run in six innings.
Magglio Ordonez is getting the night off after going 2-for-4 last night, and Jim Leyland insists it's not to protect his lead in the batting race. With a 10-point lead over Ichiro (.360 to .350), Maggs probably doesn't need that kind of help, anyway. Also taking a seat is Gary Sheffield, and that's it for his season. Sheff's getting shut down for the final two games. Rub some Tiger Balm on that shoulder, broham.
▪▪ I realize I haven't written about the announcement snuck out there yesterday, that Carlos Guillen will be moving to first base next season. But that sort of thing really deserves its own post, and we can look at the potential implications (you know Jon Paul Morosi has another Jack Wilson column in him) a bit more closely after the weekend.
▪▪ As you might imagine, Magglio's impending batting title is enorme news in his homeland of Venezuela.
▪▪ After a Hemingway-esque sabbatical, Beefshower has posted his final season grades for the Tigers' starting position players at Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass.