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Game 32: Tigers at Twins

Dontrelle Willis (0-0, -.--) vs. Glen Perkins (1-2, 3.73), 8:10 p.m. EST

Some of us have been dreading this night. Others have been eagerly anticipating it. The Curious Case of Dontrelle Willis resumes tonight, as he rejoins the Detroit Tigers after missing the first month of the season with an anxiety disorder.

As Jim Leyland said last week when his return was announced, it's time to find out if Willis is truly capable of helping the team this season. Pitching in Lakeland or Toledo isn't accomplishing anything for the Tigers. All the talk about improving his control and stamina, whether to leg kick or not, and just having fun out there doesn't mean a whole lot if he can't win games in the majors. And beating a division rival on the road would be an excellent way for the D-Train to show that he's back on track.

For the Twins, Glen Perkins is winless in his last three starts, allowing four runs or more in each of them. He looks like a pitcher the Tigers should beat, but we said much the same thing about Kevin Slowey last night. In four starts against Detroit last year, Perkins had a 2-1 record and 2.73 ERA.

Despite facing the left-handed Perkins, both Clete Thomas and Jeff Larish are in the lineup tonight. And Thomas is once again batting third, something I know many of us would like to see changed. Adam Everett is in at shortstop, and Dane Sardinha starts at catcher.