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Game 127: Tigers (62-64) at Rangers (62-65)

Nate Robertson (7-9, 5.87) vs. Kevin Millwood (6-7, 5.58)

There are some things in this life that truly frighten me. Spiders, for instance. Especially big, hairy tarantulas. I don't do well with heights, either. Though I think I'm better with that as I get older. However, I find myself growing more wary of clowns these days. Something else that could be added to this list, as it's kept me from a restful sleep this week, is the idea of Nate Robertson pitching in Arlington on a warm August night.

As this season wears on, we're finding more ways to describe just how terrible Nate's performance has been. He's won once in his last 10 starts. His ERA and hits allowed puts him in the same sentence with such pitching luminaries as Carlos Silva and Livan Hernandez. So this already wasn't looking good.

But then consider how badly Robertson pitched the last time he appeared in Texas. Ol' Nate couldn't make it out of the first inning. He didn't even record an out. And by the time he was taken out of the game, leaving a vapor trail from the mound, Texas had blasted him for six runs (on four hits and two walks). U-G-L-Y. And Nate had no alibi.

Kevin Millwood's been just about as bad for Texas this year. He's only won one of his previous eight starts. In his last outing, fresh off the disabled list, Millwood allowed five runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. And when Millwood last faced the Tigers in Arlington, he was bombed for seven runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.

So we could be in for a long, run-filled night. And wait until those bullpens get into the game. The scoreboard operators should be busy tonight.

Placido Polanco will sit out a second straight game with patella tendintis in his right knee. Between tonight's scratch and tomorrow's off-day, the Tigers hope he's ready for Friday night's opener in Kansas City.