PREGAME: I’ll be honest with you. Going into this series I didn’t have big demands. As long as the Tigers didn’t get swept, I figured things would be okay. However, with that requirement out of the way I’m going to greedy and ask for a series win.
Tonight it will be Nate Robertson taking on Scott Baker. With the lefty on the mound today there is no Joe Mauer or Jason Kubel for the Twins.
Baker is riding a 4 game quality start streak, but he’s racked up pitch counts of over 100 by the sixth inning in each of the last 3. That typically isn’t a problem for him against the Tigers who seem to swing early and often against Baker. Baker sports a 2.28 ERA at home with only 2 of his 10 homers allowed at the Metrodome. Miguel Cabrera is out of the lineup so it will be Grandy in center and kids on the corners.
Expect the Twins to test Marcus Thames at first base with a handful of bunts.
DET @ MIN, Tuesday, July 1, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com
POSTGAME: Well, the defense was good. The Tigers turned 5 double plays, including 3 in the first 3 innings. Clete Thomas chipped in a nice diving catch on a foul ball. Of course there were plenty of opportunities for double plays because Nate Robertson (and later Zach Miner) was pretty awful. It was the first time this year that Robertson didn’t make it through 5 and the first time he allowed more than 5. He basically pitched from the stretch all night.
Meanwhile Scott Baker was quite good. He seemingly was ahead of most Tigers hitters either 0-2 or 1-2 and that’s a tough way to hit. It explains why the Tigers were probably going after so many first pitches. From a pitch count stand point that made Baker work, but that’s because they were missing or fouling off those first pitches.
The Tigers got decent middle of the order production with multi hit games for Guillen, Thames, and Sheffield. But run scoring was limited because Granderson and Polanco combined to never reach base.
But all good things must come to an end. Time for a new winning streak tomorrow.