Robertson opposes Dice-K in finale

Robertson opposes Dice-K in finale

The Tigers won't have much time to prepare for Dice-K Mania. Saturday's 13-inning, 3-2 Tigers win went until 11:33 p.m. ET, and Detroit will have to bounce right back to face the Japanese right-hander making his first appearance at Comerica Park.

Matsuzaka allowed just one run to the Tigers in his first career complete game in a 7-1 Red Sox win on May 14 at Fenway Park.

"He pitched well, cut the ball well," said Gary Sheffield, who went 1-for-4 in that game. "But we're a different team now."

Manager Jim Leyland said after Saturday's four-hour, 28-minute game that regulars Magglio Ordonez and Placido Polanco would get the day off.

Obviously, the Tigers expect a sellout crowd for Matsuzaka's start. It would be the ninth straight sellout at Comerica Park, extending a record set on Saturday.

Pitching matchup
DET: LHP Nate Robertson (4-6, 4.86)
The good news for Robertson was the season-high eight strikeouts in his last start on Tuesday against the Indians. The bad news was that he had to labor to get those strikeouts, with 108 pitches in just five innings. He allowed three runs on six hits and didn't factor in the decision of a 5-4 Tigers loss. The Red Sox recorded 11 hits and three runs over five innings against him in a game earlier this season. Robertson is 1-3 with a 6.55 ERA in six career appearances against the Red Sox.

BOS: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (10-5, 3.53)
On Tuesday, there was no stopping Matsuzaka, who has recovered from a tough stretch in late May. Matsuzaka's only complete game of the season came against the Tigers on May 14. Against the Devil Rays in his last start, he threw eight innings and struck out nine.

Player to watch
Curtis Granderson scored the only run against Matsuzaka -- with a third-inning homer -- in their first meeting. Granderson added a single, and he was the only Tiger with multiple hits against Dice-K.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• WJBK 2

On radio
• WXYT 1270

Up next
• Monday-Wednesday: All-Star break
• Thursday: Tigers (TBD) at Mariners (Felix Hernandez, 5-4, 3.72), 10:05 p.m. ET

Tim Kirby is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.