Following an impressive 9-6 victory over the Angels last night (the kind of effort that makes you wonder what really could have been, had this team gotten its act together), the Tigers have an opportunity for a series win this afternoon in what has become a new day for the city of Detroit.
Up until this season, you probably could've chalked up today's game as a win for the Tigers because Ervin Santana had some of the most brutal home-road splits you've ever seen. This year, however, Santana is actually better on the road, with a 9-2 record and 3.30 ERA (with 103 strikeouts in 101 innings). Against the Tigers over his career, he's 4-2 with a 4.62 ERA in six starts.
In his last two appearances, Kenny Rogers has looked like a pitcher who's just trying to get to the end of the season so he can hang it up. But maybe he just needs to face a team other than the Kansas City Royals, who knocked him around for 13 runs and 18 hits over his last 12 innings of work. It seems like a long time ago when you see Rogers now, but he threw one of his best games of the season against the Angels back in May, shutting them out over seven innings at Anaheim.
After his heroics (a two-run homer, along with some stellar defense) last night, Mike Hessman is back in the lineup at third base and batting eighth. Brandon Inge is also catching a day game after a night game, while Magglio Ordonez gets a break from the field at DH.