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August 29, 2006

Meet the Tigers
by SG

Over at Bronx Banter, Cliff Corcoran usually does a good opponent preview to open a series. I figured I'd take a shot at one for this series, since despite having the best record in baseball, Detroit's been flying under the radar for a lot of the season. There are still people out there who think they're not for real, but those same people were pretty insistent the White Sox weren't for real last season either. The question is, how did a team that projected to be about a .500 team this year storm out to the best record in baseball?

Their offense is ok, but nothing special.

Their defense, on the other hand, is sublime.

When you have a good defense, odds are your pitching's going to look pretty good too.

Overall, Detroit's played to a pythagorean record of 80-51, compared to their actual record of 82-49. They're not getting lucky, they're a good team. They've been stumbling a little lately, but are still on pace to win 101 games.

If the Yankees want to have a legitimate shot at home field advantage, they probably need to sweep this series.

N. Robertson (11-10, 4.10) vs. C. Wang (15-5, 3.81)

W. Ledezma (2-1, 2.08) vs. R. Johnson (14-10, 4.96)

J. Bonderman (11-6, 3.92) vs.J. Wright (9-7, 4.72)

Looking at those matchups, I think two of three is a more reasonable expectation.

In a completely unrelated note, I wish David Ortiz good luck with his medical scare. As much as he's killed the Yankees for years, I have nothing but respect for him. He seems to be not just an outstanding hitter, but a great guy. Let's hope it's nothing serious and he'll back on the field in no time, hitting clutch homers while the Red Sox lose every game.

Also, regarding Carl Pavano, I think people are being a little too harsh on him. The fact that he was willing to try to pitch with broken ribs shows me that maybe he's a little tougher than he's being credited for. Whatever you think of his tenure as a Yankee so far, this team would benefit from having him back.