And now I want to make another point: During this second half, even while we’ve had all these rookies on the team, it’s not like they’ve been completely overmatched. They have played a lot of really close games. They’ve had five one-run losses, a couple of two-run losses, and a couple more games that were close until the very late innings. There’s more fight in this team than a lot of people think. I get the feeling that everyone’s just a tick out of sync, and I mean JUST a tick. It seems like every game ends up hinging on one particular pitch or one particular at-bat. I think that’s why I seriously believe that acquiring the right person at the deadline would be more beneficial than a lot of fans believe it would. Because the Tigers are still hanging around. It’s taking them all they got, but they’re still in it.
Eddie Bonine will make a spot start tonight, and thanks to the efforts of Justin Verlander, the bullpen should be well-rested. Bonine seems to be able to go about sixty pitches before he loses his effectiveness. He’s been decent out of the bullpen, though he has had issues with stranding inherited runners recently, although that has absolutely no bearing on tonight. Only two Rays have ever faced him. Jason Bartlett and Evan Longoria are both 0-1. Starting for the Rays is Jeff Niemann. He is having a very good year (as are most of the