Rivalry Week a split decision so far

Major League Assholes’ Rivalry Week got off to an unsatisfying start with series splits between the Tigers/White Sox and Cubs/Cardinals.

After the Tigers shit the bed on Monday, blowing two separate multiple-run leads and eventually losing 7-5, the Sox returned the favor in a MAJOR way on Tuesday.  A resurgent Jake Peavy looked like his usual dominant self until the 6th when the wheels completely fell off.  After trailing 6-0, the previously hibernating Tigers’ offense roared to life with an eight-run mauling including bombs from Miguel Cabrera (who’s obviously happy with the way Roger Bossard draws the batter’s box now), Ryan Raburn and Austin Jackson.  Detroit needed all the runs they could get as Jose Valverde and Octavio Dotel did everything they could to give me a heart attack in the 9th as Dayan Viciedo‘s (a.k.a. Lady Di, but a.k.a. Tiger Killer) would-be game-winning drive to right died on the warning track for the final out.

Meanwhile, the surprising Cubs took their third of the last four against the World Champion Cardinals on Monday by a score of 6-4 powered by Bryan “Trade Bait” LaHair‘s ninth blast of the season and a rare productive appearance by Alfonso Soriano. Between suffering the extremes of the Tigers/Sox game and actually trying to get some work done, I missed Tuesday’s walk-off loss to the hated Cards. But I was more than happy to avoid watching those toothless, jort-wearing yokels in St. Louis celebrating.

In a strange scheduling week full of two-game series, the Tigers should get a breather facing the pathetic Twins followed by the equally pathetic Pirates at Comerica Park over their next five.  The Cubs return home tonight to face the offensively-challenged Phillies, but the schedulers at MLB really kicked the Sox in the seeds by sending them out to the West Coast to face the fallen Angels. The Halos aren’t exactly setting the world on fire, but they have won eight of 14 in the month of May.

But the real issue is the travel schedule for the Sox as they won’t land back in Chicago until late Thursday night/Friday monring for Friday’s 1:20 start at Wrigley.  I’m confident enough in the well-rested Cubs’ chances over the drowsy Sox that I picked up Jeff Samardzija (4-1, 2.89 ERA) for a spot-start in our fantasy league.  The Sox send out a suddenly not-so-perfect Phil Humber (1-2, 5.77 ERA) who has struggled badly in his last four starts, giving up 21 runs over 20 just innings.

Saturday’s pitching matchup clearly favors the Cubs again with Ryan “Canadian Trade Bait” Dempster (0-1, 1.74 ERA) facing John Danks (2-4, 6.46 ERA), but as you can see from Demp’s record, the Cubs have found many creative ways to spoil every single one of his outings. Sunday marks the return of the shaken Peavy (4-1, 2.65 ERA) to the mound to battle a chronically mediocre Paul Maholm (4-2, 4.35 ERA), so that one should be interesting.

PV and I will be at Wrigley Friday to witness the carnage while trading insults, slamming Bud Heavies, and maybe even blogging live from the bleachers (if we can still work our iPhones).

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