Michigan and Trumbull

September 1, 2009 4:12 PM

Tigers v. Indians: Now it's a sprint

This series begins what will be a particularly brutal month for us Tigers fans. Detroit is a pedestrian 27-20 against division opponents, one game worse than Minnesota. Twenty five of the remaining 32 games this season are against divisional foes.

The good news is that the Tigers finish the year with seven games at home against the Twins and White Sox. The bad news is that they must play nine straight roads games before the last week of the season.

But none of the really matters unless you’re a blogger working on expository writing. What matters is tonight’s series opener against the Indians. Why? It’s the first of September and there is always something special about the first of any month, a chance for a team to shake off anything bad that happened the previous month or to build momentum from a particularly good run.

August was a blah moth for Detroit (16-13), much like the entire regular season, but they played better than .500 ball. So tonight is a chance to build on that little momentum and seal the deal in the central division.

Edwin Jackson (10-6, 2.96) squares off against rookie Carlos Carrasco (acquired in the Cliff Lee deal), who makes his Major League debut tonight. The chance of teeing off against a pitcher making his Major League debut sounds great on paper for the Tigers but then you think about it more: Detroit has struggled against pitchers the team has already seen. What happens when they face a solid prospect they’ve never faced?

I’ll see the glass half full and say it’ll be a long evening for the Indians. Jackson should be solid, especially within the friendly confines of Comerica Park.

As a team, the Tigers pitchers have a 3.69 ERA and have held opposing batters to a .240 batting average at home. Both numbers are tops among American League pitching staffs.

So get ready for the final sprint to the finish line.

Well, since this is the American League Central and we’re talking about the Tigers, it’ll probably be more of a limp.

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