Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Monday, May 14, 2007

BIG SERIES IN BOSTON

From Seth...

Tonight starts what should be the most interesting series for the young 2007 American League season.

The Tigers bring a 23-13 record to the Fens tonight to take on the Red Sox, who lead the East (and all of baseball) at 25-11

Both teams have been hot, winning 9 of their last 11 games. The Sox, however, have mostly been doing it against their weak (at least for now) AL East -- they're 14-5 against the East and 11-6 agaist the rest of the league. The Tigers are 12-7 in the tough AL Central, and match the Sox at 11-6 in non-divisional play.

In other words, taking schedules into account the teams are virtually tied as the AL's best right now. They're also the two hottest pre-season picks for the AL pennant, so you can't say either is a fluke.

The pitching matchups make this one look even better:

The Tigers send Robertson tonight against Dice-K. This is a great contrast of American guile vs. Japanese style: the underrated, unflappable lefty cowboy who'll throw anything to anybody going up against the reserved, mega-hyped import of the year who relies on slick, unhittable pitches.

If you ever wanted to see a 50-mph difference is pitch speeds, check in Tuesday for Verlander/Wakefield -- a 24-year-old gunner who can reach 100 mph versus a 41-year-old knuckleballer whose marquee pitch has been known to flutter in at speeds as low as 49 (which, by the way, is the speed of MY fastball).

Wednesday is lefty day, with the nitpicking innings-eather Maroth coming in hot against journeyman converted-closer Julian Tavarez, whose starts have accounted for six out of Boston's 11 losses.

On Thursday, the series wraps up with the biggest contrast yet: rookie Chad Durbin versus the lofty veteran Curt Schilling. The caveat: Durbin has yet to go up against a team's marquee pitcher. The other caveat: Schilling has a history of stepping up against Cy Young winners, then losing to nobody-heard-of's.

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