Game 148: Tigers at Twins

PREGAME: Anyone remember the last time that Nate Robertson faced the Twins? Nate went 7 innings and allowed only 3 hits and 2 walks as he handed a shut out over to the bullpen which Macay McBride and Todd Jones protected. It was in the Metrodome and he was opposed by Matt Garza. Of course Robertson had to be that good because Garza was his equal allowing 3 hits in 7 innings with the difference being an unearned run.

The win was the start of a sweep that had the Tigers with the best record in baseball when they left the Twin Cities. And the rest was crappy history.

Now Robertson heads back to the dome to take on Matt Garza at the start of a series that they need to cling to slim playoff hopes. Nate’s been a yo-yo in his last 4 starts, but he was down last game so maybe he’ll be up again. Garza has been roughed up a little in his last 2 starts allowing 9 hits in each game and not making it out of the 6th inning.

Of course the bigger issue than tonight’s game for the Twins is the resignation of GM Terry Ryan. While he’s had a tendency to miss on veteran/cheap free agents the last couple years, and he’s always seemed a little gun shy in trading that wealth of young talent, he’s done a tremendous job given his resources.

Game Time 8:10pm

POSTGAME: Nate was definitely up and pitched a very solid game. He had a small bout with control in the 4th inning, but rebounded well. I’m not sure how much of Robertson’s performance was the Twins and how much was Nate.

But the at-bat of the night had to belong to Pudge Rodriguez who worked a 9 pitch walk with the bases loaded. The number of pitches matched his season total for walks. Regardless, he fouled off strikes and took the balls, and was quite pumped afterwards. I’ve never seen that kind of reaction to a walk.

Pudge’s walk tied the game and kept the bases loaded for his Timo-ness who of course climbed the latter and lined a single to right field to give the Tigers their final margin of victory. As big as those at-bats were, the key plate appearance was probably Gary Sheffield’s, where he should have been called out looking. But I won’t complain.

The trouble is, even with the win the Tigers effectively lost ground as the Indians and Yankees both came from behind. The Indians win wasn’t really surprising, but the Yankees win was. The Red Sox blew a 5 run lead in the 8th inning – if only they had gone out and gotten some bullpen help at the trade deadline this would have never happened 🙂

62 thoughts on “Game 148: Tigers at Twins”

  1. Kubel is their hottest hitter

    5 games within the last week, 7 hits, 7RBIS, 1.233 OPS

    I say pitch around him.

    Thankfully he is left-handed (batting) and is 0-3 career against Robertson.


  2. The beautiful fall weather today reminds me of the day that the Tigers clinched a World Series berth against the A’s last October.

    Our 2007 postseason has already begun. Can we win this series and sweep the Tribe for a better shot?

    Anyone else have that 2006 Playoff feeling today? Maybe I’m just waxing nostalgic for the dominant play (until the World Series) that the Tigers had in last years postseason.

  3. who’s your tiger tonight? i’ve gotta go with nate…hopefully he can shut down morneau and the rest of this twins lineup

  4. Let’s take 2 of 3 or sweep and see what happens in CLE next week–to quote Bluto Blutarsky..”Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!?”

    on another note: as an “outsider” (New to the board as of last year, and living in Alabama, where I have the Braves shoved down my throat on a regular basis), the internet is all I have to keep up with the real pulse of the Tigers. I will probably get MLB Extra Innings next year, but I just want to tell everyone on here that I enjoy reading all the posts…it helps me keep in touch with the team, and it adds a lot to my love of the Tigers.

    Kudos to Bill for the site–it’s a real godsend to those of us outside of Michigan and the DET area.

  5. After reading Andrew’s post, I now find myself singing:

    You’ve lost that playoff feeling
    Whoa, that playoff feeling
    You’ve lost that playoff feeling
    Now it’s gone, gone, gone, wooooooh

    Let’s hope Nate (with a little help from Dice-K in Boston) can bring that feeling back tonight.

  6. Another pitching duel?

    The weather here in Michigan is horrific…terrible cold for this time of year. Glad to see them playing inside. It’s even colder in Minnesota.

  7. what good is it gonna do us if we can’t win this game. I guess if we were winning, I might take a look but right now the Tigers pitching is kinda iffy and we aren’t exactly hitting blasts all over the place. And now an error. They call it a hit.

  8. Well this is frustrating. Can’t think of much more to say. Had big hopes going into this game, I know there’s time left, but our hitting is ice cold again. I hope the team holds up because I feel like I’m running out of steam.

  9. Tremendous at-bat by Pudge. You don’t normally see a guy that fired up about a walk.

    Lucky this inning is still going because Sheffield should have been out.

  10. Nate’s been solid tonight, but me thinks it’s going to be a pretty short leash now that the Tigers have the lead.

  11. The Indians just reduced their magic number to 10…it looked like the Royals were going to beat the Indians after the men in blue were leading 4-1 in the 7th, but the Indians scored twice in the 7th and once in the 8th to tie it at 4. In the bottom of the 9th inning, Casey Blake teed off on David Riske and hit a home run to left field to win it. Unbelievable. Their 12th last at bat victory at Jacobs Field.

    Now that 4-2 lead is going to have to hold up just for the Tigers to stay 5.5 games back.

  12. I think now it’s best to forget about Cleveland and focus on the Crankees. Unless Cleveland completely falls apart, it’s going to be very difficult to come back to win the Central Division.

  13. *applauding Nate’s game tonight*

    Couldn’t ask for much more from Nate the Great. Gave ’em just enough. It would be nice to add another run or two just in case.

  14. Phew! We snuck out of that inning!

    *still waiting on an insurance run or two*

    Lets call this the Aflac Inning. When you need an insurance run, call Aflac.

  15. I think this was the game that ended the streak of consecutive “games with an extra-base hit.”

    If I’m not wrong, the last one was game two (or game one?) of the Boston doubleheader.

  16. Geez, every time I try to root for the Red Sox I throw up in my mouth a little.
    I am not that old, but when I was a kid I hardly knew any Red Sox fans. Now-a-days they are everywhere.
    It seems that most of Red Sox nations’ favorite player is Jimmy Fallon.
    It a pop culture thing, not a sports thing and it is annoying.

  17. Wow, unbelievable. I’m really proud of our boys, though. They are playing great ball, regardless of how the Red Sox are jobbing us tonight. Red Sox Nation Stinks!!!

  18. Red Sox are like the annoying nerdy guy in your 8th grade class. When they lose, it’s ‘look at me, look at me, pleeaaase make a documentary about how quirky our losing is.’ When they finally win, it has to be from 0-3 and again it’s ‘look at me pleeeasse make a documentary about how quirky our winning is.’

    And they’ve just lost. I’d like to cram all those quirky Red Sox fans into the trunk of a K car and dump them in the Flint River.

  19. We may not have luck these last few weeks but Tiger-nation will have PRIDE. Not like the choking Red Sox.

    Great game tonight Tigers!!

  20. Hmm, Yanks win. Blah.
    Has it occured to anyone else that our best chance might still be the division? It may seem like the wildcard is within reach, but the Yankees are hot…. and we don’t play them again.

    We at least play the Indians, and if we can just manage to creep in even just a full game, have an opportunity to really make it a showdown if we sweep. But we HAVE TO sweep them.

  21. I have to agree with boom. The Red Sox are spoiled and a little arrogant. Maybe if they stop feeling sorry for themselves they can win tomorrow.

  22. Ron Howard – so I ran into a guy wearing a Granderson t-shirt jersey down here in Austin. We talk Tigers for as long as the general public can stand and I tell him – “our best shot is to overtake the Yanks. Cleveland has been playing great for 30 days. NYY has been doing it for almost 90.”

  23. How do you blow a 7-2 lead in the 8th? Is this a ratings conspiracy? God knows ESPN et. al are loving this.

    Wow. I was slightly preturbed by the Indians 8th inning rally, but the Yanks coming back from dead really deflates tonight’s win. Thought for sure we’d pick up a game.

    Look. We could always just “win out” from hear on out and then flip a coin.

    Very frustrating.

    Let’s try again tomorrow.

  24. The Twins batting line-up is like a sail with no wind. Besides Hunter & Morneau, there is absolutely nothing that should strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. Cuddyer offers no protection for Morneau– quite a power outage beyond cleanup. As a result, Morneau’s numbers have dropped after the allstar break.

    And next year the Twins lineup should be even weaker with the expected departure of free agent Tory Hunter. Even if they get someone to replace his numbers, they still will be treading water– unless Cuddyer can have a year like 2006 as well.

    Next year, I wouldn’t expect the Twins to go into rebuilding mode. They likely already see the storm ahead and will decide to trade Santana this winter, due to the fact that he will be a pricey free agent after ’08. It is definitely rebuilding time for this team, and I expect next year we will see that in progress. And I bet that the new GM will want to get the rebuilding process over-with before the opening of their new stadium in 2010.

    I don’t think the Twins to be much of an obstacle for the Tigers in the central next year. White Sox will probably be more of a threat for the Cental than the Twins. Besides that it is just the Tigers & the Indians.

    Good bye Twinkies.. Nighty-night Homer-hankies…

  25. I’ve never seen that kind of reaction to a walk.

    Psssh. That’s nothing. Picture this:

    Semi-finals of our league playoffs. 3 game series, tied at one a piece. Game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the 9th. Bases load, two outs. 3-2 count on the batter.

    Yeah, I watched them mob home plate as the next pitch flew wide.

  26. The sad thing to me is, even if the choking Red Sox again lose their division to the better team, they’ll still make the playoffs. This weekend, I’m rooting for the Red Sox. Then it’s back to relishing their every stumble.

  27. Same here Kurt, although the one good thing is that today and tomorrow they have the edge at least on paper pitching wise.

    Beckett and Shil 26-13 3.55 ERA (B4 today)

    Wang and Clemens 24-12 3.95 ERA (B4 today)

    Lets just say we sweep the Twins and they split the next 2 games, 2.5 GB… still what a bullpen choke

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