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