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Open Thread - Game 162: Tigers (87-74) at White Sox (72-89)

Nate Robertson (8-13, 4.79) vs. Jose Contreras (10-16, 5.52), 2:05 p.m. EST

A pending celebration for Magglio Ordonez winning the AL batting title will give the Detroit Tigers a chance to close out 2007 with a final bow and salvage what's been a disappointing (for those who bothered to watch) weekend in Chicago.

Ending the season by getting swept on the road wouldn't exactly be going on out on a high note. But losing the first two games of this series with the White Sox has already cast a disappointing pall over this final weekend. The Tigers will finish with fewer than 90 wins, and with a sub-.500 record against an inferior division opponent.

Forgive the pessimism, but if Nate Robertson follows his recent good start/bad start pattern, he's due to get knocked around this afternoon. He pitched very well in his last start, against the Twins, giving up just one run in seven innings. But Robinson's teammates couldn't score any runs for him, and he ended up taking another tough loss.

Interestingly, Robertson will have pitched the final regular season game in three of his four full seasons with the Tigers. But could this be the last time he wears the Olde English D? Robertson is tentatively expected to be a part of next year's starting rotation, but he could also be a piece of any significant deal the Tigers make in the off-season.

It's been a largely disappointing season for Jose Contreras, but he's pitched well recently, winning four of his last six starts. His last outing didn't go so well, however, as the Royals smacked him for five runs (four earned) in 6 1/3 innings. The Tigers have hit Contreras well this season, tagging him with a 10.80 ERA in his two starts against them. But he has his own good start/bad start pattern going on, and today's game falls on the good start side.

Placido Polanco needs one more hit to reach 200 for the season.