Game 78: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s a gorgeous night in Detroit for what should be a phenomenal pitching match-up. It will be Justin Verlander taking on Johan Santana.

This is the 3rd time that the Tigers have faced Santana this season. They haven’t lit him up by any means, but they did push across a couple runs each time and more importantly ran his pitch count up to 100 after 6 innings both times. The Tigers will have Gary Sheffield tonight, the only game in the series where he’ll play because he’ll serve his shortened suspension on Saturday and Sunday.

Justin Verlander has been on quite the roll and will make one last statement in his case for pitcher of the month. So far in 4 starts in June he has a 1.24 ERA and a 35:10 strike out to walk ratio.

MIN @ DET, Friday, June 29, 2007 Game Preview –
Game Time 7:05

: Another home clunker for the Tigers. Justin Verlander was nearly unhittable. But he got himself into a ton of trouble with walks. It took him 31 pitches to get through the first inning, and part of that was the fault of Carlos Guillen who had a couple of miscues that could have shortened the inning. After mowing through the 2nd through 4th innings, Verlander did himself in by walking the bases loaded and surrendering a grand slam to Joe Mauer.

I don’t know if it was something about pitching from the stretch. Only one of the walks came when he was throwing from the wind-up, and that came on a full count. But with runners on base he couldn’t find the strike zone.

The Tigers threatened in the first against Johan Santana and made him throw 25 pitches. But an 8 pitch second inning put him back in control and the Tigers didn’t really muster any offense until Placido Polanco’s homer in the 6th.

Macay McBride did a nice job out of the pen. Eulogio De La Cruz came in and wasn’t great, but wasn’t helped when Neifi Perez made an error and 3 more unearned runs would come across.

And if you missed it, Perez started in place of Brandon Inge who was a late scratch with back spasms.
Twins 11 Tigers 1


  1. Chris Y.

    June 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Great matchup, get ’em guys.

  2. Kathy

    June 29, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Lord, have mercy, what a 1st inning. Will it ever end.

  3. T Smith

    June 29, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Does anybody else but me notice that Grandy’s strike zone is always MUCH larger than normal?

    It’s almost like the umps are saying, “…we know you led the league in strike outs, if you’re gonna get a ball, ya gotta earn it…”

    It’s quite annoying. I don’t think I’m imagining this. I’ve thought it MANY times… not just tonight… and the ball up in the stratosphere that was called a stike… atrocious. Somebody should get fired after that one.

    As for Maggs ball four, called for a strike, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt (but nonetheless, it was ball four)….

    It’s gonna be hard to beat Santana with such an eratic strike zone.

  4. Stephen

    June 29, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    The saddest words in baseball: ‘Santana pitches to Perez.’

  5. Chris Y.

    June 29, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Strike zone has been a wild ride so far.

    Lloyd should have gone old school on Marty Mouse Foster.

  6. Mike R

    June 29, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    I was waiting for Lloyd to steal a base on his way out. Bring back the Pittsburgh tirade memories.

  7. billfer

    June 29, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Strike zone has been awful. It seems like we’ve had these issues with Marty Foster before.

  8. Ben in Denver

    June 29, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Aw crap.

  9. T Smith

    June 29, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I told myself I was going to refrain from posting my usual Monroe stat until the third at bat…

    Monroe: 0-3

  10. billfer

    June 29, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    It’s picking nits at this point, but why Frankie right now? Isn’t this why you have Jason Grilli?

  11. T Smith

    June 29, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I think Leyland is just trying to feel out the bullpen at this point. To see what DLC can do in every situation. But yes, I agree.

  12. Eric Jackson

    June 29, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    They might be interested in how DLC does against one of the better offenses around. We have a good idea of how Grilli will do 😉

  13. Mike R

    June 29, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Eric, you were named dropped by Keith Law in an interview between him and Lion in Oil website.

  14. Kathy

    June 29, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    What can I say? Awful. And I don’t think DeLa Cruz is the answer to anything.

  15. T Smith

    June 29, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    DLC ERA starting to elevate…..

  16. Mike R

    June 29, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    I’m not down on De La Cruz; very few rookies do what Joel Zumaya did last year. This happens with young pitchers, we just got really lucky that guys like Zumaya and Verlander didn’t struggle that much, especially in 06.

  17. T Smith

    June 29, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Monroe: 3 pitches, three strikes. K

    Monroe: 0-4

  18. ron

    June 29, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    They were overwhelmed tonite and Verlander was wild. They seem to play better when they are in 2nd place. Get em’tomorrow.

  19. cib

    June 29, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Am I finally home? Or is it still the first inning? Could the extra day of rest have thrown Verlander off? He looked like he was somewhere else. Maybe it was the full moon? Let’s hope for a better Saturday.

  20. Kathy

    June 30, 2007 at 9:07 am

    clb: you may be right about the full moon effect. I worked in the public school system for 30 years and we always knew when it was full-moon time as we called it. I used to warn my son as a teenager when he went out to be very careful when there was a full moon.