Tim Wakefield (6-3, 4.55) vs. Dontrelle Willis (3-5, 5.50), 1:05 p.m. EST
Is Dontrelle Willis the one man standing between a Red Sox sweep at Comerica Park and a salvage win for the home team? That's what the Tigers are facing this afternoon in the finale to this three-game series.
The question, of course, is which D-Train will we see today? The one who's allowed three runs and eight hits in 13 innings in two home starts so far? Or the guy who served the baseball up on a tee in Baltimore last Friday night and got rocked for seven runs and 10 hits in five innings by the Orioles?
Boston might ask similar questions about their starting pitcher today. For one thing, you never know what you'll get with a knuckleballer. But after winning four of his first six starts, Tim Wakefield has given up five runs or more in three of his past four appearances. In his last outing, he was tagged for six runs and nine hits at Toronto, while also walking four batters in 4.2 innings. At Comerica Park, Wakefield is 3-3 with a 4.21 ERA in 10 career appearances (six starts).
With the day game after a night game, Placido Polanco and Gerald Laird are out of the lineup. Also, Ryan Raburn gets the start in left field, with Clete Thomas moving over to right, and Magglio Ordonez batting as the designated hitter. Could Maggs have a big game today? His average against Wakefield is .395/.452/.684 with two homers and eight RBIs in 41 plate appearances.