What a difference two games can make. How do you feel about this series against the Cleveland Indians now, compared to how you may have been feeling on Sunday? Much like Gary Sheffield's shoulder, everything might not be firing quite yet. But after sweeping the Twins, both Sheff and the Tigers look as if things might be coming together for the first time this season.
As badly as Detroit has played in beginning the season 4-10, the Tribe provided some consolation to panicked Tigers fans with their own struggles. Cleveland has lost six of its last nine games, and much like the Minnesota Twins, their bullpen has blown leads the past two nights. That leaves the Indians just one game ahead of the Tigers going into this series. Neither team has the record we might have expected at this point in the season, but we did figure they'd be close to one another.
Armando Galarraga comes up from Toledo to start for the injured Dontrelle Willis, which could be some good fortune, given how wobbly the D-Train had been in his first two appearances. In two starts with the Mud Hens, Galarraga had a 2-0 record and 2.25 ERA, with 11 strikeouts in 12 innings. And providing some pitching depth from the minors is exactly what Dave Dombrowski had in mind when got Galarraga back in February. (Francis Beltran, by the way, goes back to Toledo to clear a roster spot.)
Coming off a 256-inning workload last season, you had to think C.C. Sabathia might be worn down this year. Whether it's because of that or his unresolved contract situation, the Indians' #1 starter hasn't pitched like an ace so far. Sabathia got knocked around in his first two games, and was outright bombed in his last start against Oakland, giving up nine runs and 12 hits in just 3 1/3 innings. He won three of his five starts vs. the Tigers last season, though Detroit hit him pretty well.
Let's Go Tribe has your SB Nation opposing view for the next two games.
I'll be on the road to Knoxville for most of the day, which is why this Game Thread is going up early. (And if there was any breaking news, that's why I missed it.) Hopefully, I'll be able to join you in the comments by game time, as I'll need you guys to keep me up on developing situations. Considering my presence seemed to jinx the Tigers last night, however, maybe I shouldn't be hanging out in the Game Threads anymore. Keep the light on for BYB, people!