Given that the Detroit Tigers "had" to win three out of four from the Minnesota Twins before the All-Star break and three out of four from the Baltimore Orioles after the mid-season recess, and only won four of those eight games, I hesitate to suggest what needs to be done this weekend against the Chicago White Sox. But winning this series would certainly make the AL Central race extremely interesting.
Gavin Floyd began this season looking like an AL Cy Young Award candidate, but maybe beating the Tigers in his first two starts of the year had something to do with that. In those two games, Floyd allowed just three runs in 13 1/3 innings. And in that second start, he had a no-hitter going through 7 1/3 innings.
But as we know now, that was a different Tigers team. And it was against these same White Sox that Detroit finally started to play like a team interested in competing for a post-season spot, sweeping a three-game series from Chicago in early June. Since then, the Tigers are 23-12, a .657 winning percentage. Add those three games, and it's .684.
And who knows what that record could be if Nate Robertson wasn't going through one of his worst stretches of the season?
Robertson is winless in his previous five starts, and last Saturday against Baltimore was the sour, rotten cherry on top. He not only couldn't hold the 6-0 lead he was given in the first inning, he couldn't even pitch through three innings. It was an absolutely terrible performance, and despite being a fan favorite, I think people are as down on Nate as they've ever been. Pitching well tonight would go a long, long way to restoring some confidence for all involved.
South Side Sox has your SB Nation opposing view for this weekend's series.