Minnesota 8, Detroit 3 (box)
Magic Number 2
For the second time in this four game series, the Detroit Tigers allowed a Minnesota Twins’ pitcher to work through early inning difficulties without making them pay.
Scott Baker struggled to put hitters away from the very first batter. The Tigers fouled off tough pitches and Baker fell behind on several hitters, but when he came into the zone, Detroit could do nothing against him.
The Tigers got a run in the second, but the big chance came in the fourth when they loaded the bases with two out, trailing 4-1. On any given day, Placido Polanco would have been the hitter in that situation, but instead, Ramon Santiago was batting in the two hole. Santiago popped up to end the threat.
The Twins had no such difficulty with Nate Robertson, scoring three times in the third inning, then adding on with a run in the fourth. The line doesn’t look terrible for Robertson, but he put his team in a hole they were not able to climb out of.
- Jeremy Bonderman– Bondo plunked Delmon Young in retaliation for a pitch behind Adam Everett. This was three games in the making, really, as these teams have been pitching batters tight all series.
- Orlando Cabrera– Who would have thought the best Cabrera in this series wouldn’t be Miguel? The Twins’ shortstop cemented his spot as one of my least favorite players in the game with his 7 for 19 series. He drove in five runs and scored five times in the four game set.
- The Offense– The Twins made four errors and Baker threw 105 pitches in just five innings, yet this was the best they could do? Minnesota gave them every opportunity to pop the corks, instead the Tigers let them off the hook.
- Jim Leyland– Seriously? Polanco needed a day off with four freaking games left in the season? I get that Santiago had been hot of late, but why not just play him at short then? Obviously we don’t know that Polanco drives in those runs in the fourth, and since he wasn’t in the game, we will never know.
- Angel Hernandez– I’m sorry, but how is this guy still a big league umpire? Hernandez has been around a long time, but to issue warnings after the pitch by Mijares was just plain silly. Hernandez has a long history of blowing up during games going all the way back to his field-to-booth confrontation with Steve McMicheal at a Cubs game several years ago. If the umpire cannot be counted on to keep his cool, why should the players be expected to?
- Bobby Seay– Seay had not pitched in a week when he took the mound yesterday, but he still doesn’t look right. He faced three hitters and all three reached base. In his last three outings, he has allowed six hits and four runs while retiring just one of the eight batters he has faced.
What’s on tap
From the looks of the forecast, maybe nothing tonight. If it goes off, the Tigers will turn to Edwin Jackson tonight against Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox. Peavy tossed seven shutout innings in his last start, a win over the Tigers last Friday. Jackson took the loss in last Sunday’s game, allowing five earned over his seven innings in Chicago.
A Tigers win reduces the magic number to one, with the Twins taking on the Royals in Minnesota this weekend. Jeff Manship faces Lenny DiNardo in a pitching matchup I have no real read on. DiNardo faced the Twins in his last start, allowing three runs in five innings.