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Game 151: Tigers (70-80) at Rangers (75-77)

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Freddy Garcia (0-0, -.--) vs. Dustin Nippert (3-4, 6.20)

You know, it didn't quite hit me until I typed out the headline for tonight's GameThread. The Tigers are 10 games under .500 after losing six in a row. Double-U. Tee. Eff? Can they salvage a win in tonight's series finale, if for no other reason than to try and maintain the delusion of going 11-1 to finish at .500? (They'd need that extra game to be played at Chicago after the season, by the way.)

Someone that could help next season be more successful than this one (if both sides agree on another contract, that is) is tonight's starting pitcher. Freddy Garcia hasn't pitched in the majors for more than a year, as he's been recovering from surgery on a torn labrum. How will he perform after a handful of minor league starts and simulated games? Well, if he throws like Dontrelle Willis did on Monday, that might be all right.

Of course, no matter how well Garcia pitches tonight, that Tigers bullpen will still have to finish the game...

Dustin Nippert has won his past two starts, and the numbers say he was pretty dominant in doing so. In his last 12 innings, Nippert has only allowed one run and 12 hits, while also striking out 11 batters. At home, his record is 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA in seven appearances (two starts). This will be the first time Nippert has faced the Tigers.


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