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Game 123: Orioles (59-62) at Tigers (59-63)

Dennis Sarfate (4-2, 5.16) vs. Justin Verlander (8-13, 4.77)

The countdown continues toward the end of the 2008 season - which Tiger Town seem to be eagerly anticipating nowadays - as 40 games remain on the schedule. Hopefully, not too many of them resemble the traveshamockery that we were exposed to last night.

I'd love to write something snarky about not even knowing who Dennis Sarfate is, but when your team loses 11-2 the night before, there's not much air left in that balloon of bravado. That balloon actually turned deflated and flaccid some time ago. I will point out, however, that this is only Sarfate's fourth start of the season, and as a starter, his ERA is 11.45.

But recently, Justin Verlander hasn't been anything to brag about, either. He's lost his last previous four starts, during which his ERA has been 7.20. Verlander only pitched 4 1/3 innings in his last appearance, which Jim Leyland largely blamed on him throwing 130 pitches in the game before that. Will he be rested up for tonight's start against the Orioles (Leyland considered pushing his start back a day), or will that arm still be tired out?

Verlander was outstanding the last time he faced the Orioles, allowing just one run and three hits over 8 2/3 innings in front of family and friends at Baltimore. But with another bad outing tonight, you might have to wonder if the Tigers might consider shutting Verlander down for a while.