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Game 69: Dodgers (31-37) at Tigers (31-37)

Clayton Kershaw (0-1, 4.50) vs. Nate Robertson (4-6, 5.88)

As The Daily Fungo pointed out in its recap of yesterday's win, today's game could show us how far the Tigers have come over the past 10 days. Not only would finishing off a second straight series sweep (alliteration!) be impressive, but staying focused on a getaway day (before a big west coast trip) would also indicate renewed mental toughness.

Detroit has been helped a bit during their five-game winning streak by finally getting to face some left-handed pitching. But Clayton Kershaw is no soft-tossing lefty. The Dodgers' top prospect throws in the mid-90s, with a curveball that could be a public menace. Though he hasn't given up many runs (allowing more than two only once in four starts) and strikes out a batter per inning, Kershaw's big bugaboo has been his control. In 20 innings, he's issued 13 walks. As a result of his wildness, Kershaw racks up high pitch counts and hasn't gone deep into games.

Nate Robertson allowed fewer than four runs against the White Sox in his last outing, which made it one of his best performances of the season. This five-game winning streak began with that win, by the way. Could Nate be on a roll? Winning three of his last four starts says he just might be.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Hopefully, a day at the ballpark with your son is part of the celebration for at least some of you. You know what would go great with your gift on this hot summer day? An ice-cold, effervescent Vernor's ginger ale. We're not messing with a winning streak.

(Though if this keeps going, Schweppes might want to note all the free publicity they've been getting. We're pretty happy with the winning, however.)

Short Hops:

  • Billfer peeked at Joel Zumaya's rehab outing for Toledo last night. Zumaya threw one scoreless inning with one strikeout on 11 pitches. The next (and perhaps last) test is to see if he can pitch on consecutive nights. If so, Zumaya should join the Tigers in San Diego next weekend.
  • As if yesterday's results didn't make it clear, something actually is wrong with Brad Penny. Specifically, his shoulder. (via Dodger Thoughts)
  • If the Tigers only have one All-Star this year, Jon Paul Morosi (who seems to be quiet this season) thinks Magglio Ordonez should be Detroit's representative.