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Game 44: Tigers (17-26) at D-Backs (27-16)

Today's the rubber game of the Tigers-Diamondbacks weekend series, the interleauge rivals splitting the first 2 games.

Your pitching matchup today has the Tigers hard luck Nate Robertson (1-4, 6.04) facing the Big Unit, Randy Johnson (3-1, 5.40).

Johnson isn't the fearsome fireballer he once was, but has won his past 2 decisions, and the D-Backs have been victorious in his past 4 starts. Robertson has not come close to living up to his new, long-term contract. He's scuffling badly, giving up 10 hits apiece in his last 2 starts, losing both.

Arizona has the best record in baseball, and had been playing quite well going into this weekend. Taking 2 of 3 from the D-Backs would be a big series win for the Tigers. They haven't come close to winning a series since sweeping the Yankees over 2 weeks ago, going an ugly 3-11 since.

Also worth noting is last night's win was the first of the season for the Tigers when they score less than 5 runs. For a team expected to contend, that stat alone shows just how bad the Tigers have been up to his point of the season.

Short hops:

The Freep's Drew Sharp says the Tigers need to take off the kid gloves in regard to Gary Sheffield. In Sharps' words, it's time for the Tigers "to use him according to his production, not his salary. If he can't hit anymore, don't let him." Unfortunately, if Sheff can't hit, he's of no use to the Tigers at all.

Sam LOVES the high socks , and the fact Jim Leyland's nickname is "HUMPERDINCK," at Roar of the Tigers.