Nate Robertson (0-3, 6.91) vs. Ian Kennedy (0-2, 8.53)
I shouldn't use the word I really want to use, because it usually invokes The Jinx, but tonight, the Tigers have a chance to do something that a broom does to dirt, and any time that can be accomplished at Yankee Stadium, it's noteworthy. But everything seems to be coming together for this team, and it would certainly be encouraging to see that trend continue upward this evening.
Both Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman righted themselves over the last two nights, and gave the Tigers the kind of starting pitching they've been craving over the past month. So is it now Nate Robertson's turn to figure it out? He has given up at least four runs in each of his five starts this season. Though it should be mentioned that Robertson also currently leads the Detroit staff in strikeouts (with 24), which is something you probably wouldn't have predicted. And he did go seven innings in his last start, which is a good sign.
Robertson has never won a game at Yankee Stadium, going 0-3 in four regular season starts with a 6.97 ERA.
Ian Kennedy has been a little better than Robertson in his five starts, but doesn't have a win to show for the effort. Apparently, the Yankees are encourage that he really only had one bad inning last time out, against the Indians. Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog implies that Kennedy might suddenly come down with the same mysterious "strained oblique" that took out Phil Hughes if he doesn't have a good start tonight. Here in Detroit, we like to call that particular malady "tired arm."
Brandon Inge is catching tonight, as both Pudge Rodriguez and Edgar Renteria get the night off. Ramon Santiago is in at shortstop. Will we see international man of mystery Francisco Cruceta tonight? Yankee Stadium seems like an excellent place to make a debut.