PREGAME: Coming into this series I was hoping to be talking about a sweep today. Of course I didn’t anticipate it being about sweep-avoidance for the Tigers.
It will be Kenny Rogers taking on Boof Bonser. Bonser is coming off his best start of the year. A 1 run, 7 inning, 8 K game. Rogers is also coming off a solid start where he held the Yankees to 2 runs in 6 innings.
Jim Leyland hinted at a lineup shake up last night, and it sounds like it is still coming. For today anyways it will only be Miguel Cabrera moving to the 3 hole as Gary Sheffield gets the day off.
Game Time 2:10
POSTGAME: Things looked so good to start. Curtis Granderson, frustrated over being stranded at third on Saturday night started the game with a homer (he finished Saturday night’s game with a homer also). And then things went really right for the Tigers and really wrong for the Twins. Five runs later Boof Bonser was at 45 pitches and the Twins were just coming to bat.
But then the offense went to hell. I defended the approach in many of the games saying that the Tigers were working the pitcher (their pitch/pa has been near average all season). Today was indefensible. They swung at the first pitch of the inning in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th innings. And that just set the tone. Bonser managed to pitch through 6 innings despite throwing half a games worth of pitches in the first.
The decision to go to Miner is certainly debatable – but not awful. Miner had been pitching well of late. They needed one out. Miner got Gomez to pound the ball into the ground, unfortunately it hit the plate and went for an infield single. That’s bad luck more than bad strategy. But the subsequent line drive to the wall resulting in a double was bad pitching.
Kenny Rogers was fine. The bullpen wasn’t. But the biggest problem was the offense. And that’s a mighty strange thing to say when they plate 6 in the first inning.