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Game 59: Tigers (24-34) at Athletics (32-27)

Nate Robertson (3-5, 5.92) vs. Justin Duchscherer (4-4, 2.27)

The idea that the Tigers are reduced to trying to salvage a win in the final game of this series is tremendously vexing, considering that wins were there for the taking in each of the previous two games. But that's what we're forced to choke down this afternoon.

Jim Leyland put last night's loss on his offense (or lack thereof), and if the Tigers don't start scoring some more runs (which might not be so easy), this exercise in frustration will surely continue. Justin Duchscherer might not be the guy to kick off a run parade, either, as he's allowed more than two runs only once among his eight starts this season. And unlike last night, when Dana Eveland was handing out free passes to virtually everyone (rhough the Tigers didn't capitalize), Duchscherer doesn't walk many batters, so Detroit will have to swing the bats to get on base.

Can Nate Robertson keep his winning streak going? He's won his last two starts, benefiting from some uncustomarily generous run support (26 runs!) from his lineup. Any chance that continues today? If you're a believer in Robertson's good start-bad start pattern, he's due for a decent outing today after giving up four runs (and two homers to Adrian Beltre) in his previous start. Good luck, Nate. We're all counting on you.

It's a reserve middle infield today for the Tigers, as both Placido Polanco and Edgar Renteria get the day off. According to Jason Beck, Leyland would've rested two more guys, but injuries to Clete Thomas and Brandon Inge are keeping Magglio Ordonez and Pudge Rodriguez in the lineup.