Nate Robertson (1-2, 5.35) vs. Scott Baker (13-8, 4.35), 2:10 p.m. EST
So far, this weekend's series at the Metrodome has fulfilled Tigers fans' worst fears. Just about everything has seemed to go wrong at one point or another, and perhaps worst of all, the Metrodome itself played a role in yesterday's downfall. Now the Tigers are faced with trying to salvage a win and avoid a sweep.
And so, it all falls upon Nate Robertson. Until Thursday, the Tigers weren't even sure he would be available to start this game. But his injured groin apparently feels fine, and Jim Leyland and Rick Knapp think he threw the ball very well in his bullpen session.
Before the game in which he got hurt (and there's some question as to whether he hurt himself during his last start or was aching beforehand), Robertson was very good in his previous two starts. In 10 innings, he allowed just one run in 10 innings. And eight strikeouts indicated that Robertson had his slider working. Pitching at the Metrodome, Robertson is 5-5 with a 4.08 ERA in 11 starts. He pitched one scoreless inning of relief there in early May.
For the Twins, Scott Baker has allowed three runs or fewer in his past five starts. In his last outing, however, he gave up three runs in four innings, which wasn't one of his best efforts. At home this season, Baker is 6-4 with a 4.39 ERA in 15 starts. In two starts against the Tigers, he's allowed 11 runs and 16 hits in 10.1 innings. (Good for a 9.58 ERA.)
Lineup-wise, Marcus Thames gets a shot in the #3 spot today. Carlos Guillen moves down to sixth in the batting order. Why no Aubrey Huff in the lineup? 2-for-8 versus Baker might be a reason. (How about giving Alex Avila a try at DH, now that the Tigers are carrying a third catcher?) Watch out for Magglio Ordonez, though, who's batting .424 (with a 1.199 OPS) against Baker.