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Game 115: Athletics (53-61) at Tigers (56-58)

Dallas Braden (2-2, 5.10) vs. Kenny Rogers (8-8, 4.98)

After a disappointing (we're feeling diplomatic - it's Friday) 3-7 road trip, the Tigers return to Comerica Park to play an Athletics team that's a bit different the squad that swept Detroit in Oakland, back in early June. (Especiallly on the pitching side.)

I didn't necessarily think things were that bad until I heard Peter Pascarelli's tirade against the "Oakland (Triple) A's" on Wednesday's ESPN "Baseball Today" podcast:

"I would think the object of baseball is - not only winning, but also you're in the entertainment business - putting a team on the field that people want to see. The Oakland A's put a team on the field right now that no one wants to see. There's nobody identifiable in the lineup. Who do you wanna go see on the Oakland A's? I mean, you want to get the kids together in the station wagon and go see [Kurt] Suzuki?


"Who's a big star on that team? Who's someone you wanna go see play? What is there entertaining about watching a bunch of anonymous Triple-A players play for the Oakland A's?"

Of course, if Kenny Rogers pitches as poorly as he has in his last two starts,he won't even beat the Oakland (Double) A's. Rogers has allowed 12 runs in his last nine innings, with five walks and - amazingly - nine strikeouts. He faced Oakland earlier this season, and settled for a no-decision, despite giving up just two runs and six hits over seven innings.

Dallas Braden is one of three left-handed starting pitchers the Tigers will face in this series. (Dan Meyer and Greg Smith are the other two.) He's given up four runs and six hits in each of his last two starts. (Actually, this will only be his fourth start of the season.) Against Detroit, Braden has a 12.34 ERA in 11 2/3 innings.

Athletics Nation has your SB Nation opposing view for this weekend's series.