Dear Mr. Rogers --
We hope you're ready to be awesome tonight, and for the rest of the season, because your team definitely needs that.
The Fans of the Detroit Tigers
That's not too much pressure, is it? Expecting greatness out of Rogers - especially right away - is surely asking too much, but the Tigers' increasingly gloomy playoff chances might soon become thin as dental floss if they don't get some of the magic Rogers gave them last year. (Did you register for your Tigers playoff tickets today, by the way?)
And after suffering another disheartening loss to the White Sox, Detroit currently sits 7 1/2 games out of first place in the AL Central and 3 1/2 games out of the Wild Card lead. Rogers' last start before going on the disabled list was against these same White Sox, and they crushed him that night. In just four innings, he gave up seven runs - and allowed four home runs.
The Tigers have seen both the good and bad sides of Gavin Floyd. In his first start against them, Floyd was slammed for seven runs (five earned) and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. The next time he faced Detroit, however, Floyd pitched six shutout innings (despite giving up seven hits). Which Floyd will the Tigers see tonight? He's allowed seven runs (and four homers) in his last 9 2/3 innings.
Magglio Ordonez and his sore left heel get the night off. Ryan Raburn will start in right field and gets his turn in the lineup's #3 spot. (Gary Sheffield is set to take that spot back tomorrow.) Also, Mike Hessman will start at third base tonight for Brandon Inge.
▪▪ Curtis Granderson is the recipient of the Tigers' Roberto Clemente Award for his work in the local community. He is thus a nominee for the national award, for which fans can vote online. (Is that really a good idea?)
▪▪ Ozzie Guillen could be getting a contract extension.