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The Harden They Come, The Harden They Fall: Cubs vs. Tigers Preview, Wednesday 6/24, 6:05 CT

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In the now 12-game regular season history between the Cubs and Tigers, the Tigers are 9-3, and the Cubs have won only two games of the six played to date in Detroit (including last night). It's definitely time to change all that.

Stopped by Reed Johnson's blog today to find Reed's reaction to the DeRosa/Wood love that was shown by fans last weekend. Reed has some personal experience with that, too:

When I went back to Toronto last year, I got a nice reception. I don't know if Woody or De-Ro felt the same way I did. I knew the fans appreciated me, but when I came back last year, it was magnified even more and you realize how much they miss you as a player and I think those two guys got a taste of that Friday.

I'm sure the fans are happy to see them but I'm sure they're even happier we ended up winning the game. That's the way everybody's wired together here. Thanks for stopping by, but, geez, I hope we win. It was a good win for us, too.

Exactly. The cheers for the two former Cubs were, in my opinion, thank-yous for what they had accomplished as Cubs. Me, I'm very happy that the Cubs swept the series.

The photo accompanying this article is poignant, and it must have felt very strange for Alan Trammell. For more see this post at our SBN Tigers site, Bless You Boys.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Harden
Rich Harden
vs. Rick Porcello
Rick Porcello
4-3 W-L 8-4
5.27 ERA 3.54
64 SO 41
26 BB 23
11 HR 10
vs. Det -- vs. Cubs

Rick Porcello is the youngest player in the major leagues; he turned 20 on December 27, 2008. After a slow start in April, he's making a case for AL Rookie of the Year; since May 1 he is 7-1, 2.42 in nine starts. Oddly, his ERA is higher at home (4.22) than on the road (3.02), despite Comerica Park's reputation as pitcher-friendly. He's facing the Cubs, obviously, for the first time.

Rich Harden has a 3-1, 3.48 career record against the Tigers from his AL days; he last started against them on June 2, 2008 in Oakland. Placido Polanco is 5-for-7 lifetime vs. Rich and overall, current Tigers sport an .876 OPS against him (small sample size of 53 AB). Harden needs to step it up and be the pitcher he was the second half of 2008.

Cable-only in Chicago and Detroit today, and on EI and MLB.TV. For other games today see the Mediacenter. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Overflow comment threads will post today at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.