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Game 153: Tigers (71-81) at Indians (76-77)

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Justin Verlander (10-16, 4.78) vs. Jeremy Sowers (3-8, 5.70)

The Detroit Tigers won't even finish 2008 with a .500 record. Last night's loss to the Indians takes care of even that lowly aspiration. (Big League Stew officially put the nail in their coffin yesterday.)

To even have a chance at breaking even, the Tigers and White Sox would have to make up their rainout after the season ended. But Detroit would also have to go undefeated from here on out. How do you like the chances of that happening, hotshot? The Tigers, by the way, have lost their last five games against the Indians.

We can only hope that the Tigers took some consolation from humiliating their rookies last night after the game. (A nice consolation to the fans would be pictures of the costume show.)

Justin Verlander could use a win. He's winless in his past four starts, and last time out, Verlander lost to the other AL Central team that keeps him down, giving up four runs and nine hits in 7 2/3 innings to the White Sox. In five starts against the Indians this season, Verlander has a 1-4 record and 6.16 ERA.

Jeremy Sowers is coming off a game in which he only lasted three innings, allowing three runs and five hits in the process. In his start before that, however, he was brilliant, holding the Orioles to just one run and four hits in eight innings. So which guy will the Tigers see tonight? Well, Sowers has lost both times he's faced Detroit this season, compiling a 10.24 ERA.