PREGAME: After losing last night, tonight’s game becomes probably more “must-win” than any the Tigers have played this year.
The Tigers will send out the same lineup as last night, but with right hander Justin Verlander on the mound. Verlander faced the Yankees in June and allowed 6 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks while pitching with a cut on his throwing hand. Justin will be making his first start since the Tigers clinched the wild card on September 24th. Really, it was the last happy day for the Tigers and their fans. Of course he’s a key to the Tigers success tonight so here’s hoping he’s more rested than rusty.
The Yankees will send out Mike Mussina who dominated the Tigers in May as he was an Alex Rodriguez throwing error away from a complete game shut out. Really he’s dominated the Tigers during his entire existence. The current Tigers roster has mustered exactly 2 home runs in their careers against Mussina. What makes Mussina difficult is that he doesn’t seem to fall into typicaly patters. He’s as likely to throw breaking stuff whether he’s ahead or behind in the count. The trick is to get runners on base – which is no small feat. With the bases empty Mussina’s OPS against is a meager 587 but with runners on it is 775.
Game Time 8:09 Game Time 1:09
I can’t think of a way that bumping the game to tomorrow will materially effect much. It may mean that Joel Zumaya won’t be used 2 innings, but that’s about it. Oh yeah, and I won’t be able to see it because I’ll be at work.
POSTGAME Of all the days to have meetings all afternoon. I managed to catch the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings on the radio. When I went into a meeting to start the 8th, one of my co-workers made a point of walking by the conference room holding up the score each half inning.
I’ll have a proper wrap up in a couple hours. Thanks for all the comments keeping this place humming this afternoon.