Okay, how about having a Game Thread posted for this afternoon's match-up? (If you didn't read it already, here's an explanation for why the site - and all of SB Nation - was down last night. Apologies for not being here for what looked like a blast of a ballgame.) The Tigers go for their first series sweep of the season, against a Rangers team that has given up double-digit runs to the Detroit lineup over the last two nights. Any chances of a third consecutive offensive explosion?
Scott Feldman gets the starting nod for the Rangers today, as the team is pushing Jason Jennings back a few days to give his recovering elbow some more rest (plus, he's been kind of terrible so far) and Kason Gabbard has a strained back that will send him to the disabled list. In his only other start this season, Feldman allowed three runs over six innings to the Blue Jays. He's faced the Tigers as a reliever, however, and has a 7.71 ERA over four appearances (six runs and six walks over seven innings) to show for it.
Jeremy Bonderman "didn't have much" in his last start, also against Toronto, and took a tough loss after giving up three runs in five innings. But at least some of that difficulty was self-imposed, as Bondo wasn't very efficient last Friday, issuing six walks and throwing 108 pitches. In five career starts against the Rangers, he has a 2-1 record and 4.83 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings.
After a one-game delay, we'll finally see the new infield alignment with Carlos Guillen at third base and Miguel Cabrera at first today. Placido Polanco is also expected to rejoin the Tigers' lineup, while Gary Sheffield rests his aching shoulders for one more day. (That presumably leaves Brandon Inge, who we hear is "livid" over recent developments, on the bench. Maybe some shade and Gatorade will help him cool off.) We're oh-so-close to finally seeing the Justice League of Baseball batting order we've been waiting for (though they certainly laid some serious justice on the Rangers' pitching staff last night).
We hope to see everyone back after last night's blackout. Let's also hope there's just as much fun baseball to talk about this afternoon. I'll be en route to Asheville during the game, but might get to peek in during a lunch stop, wi-fi permitting, so I leave posting lineups and such to the BYB Brigade.