PREGAME: The Tigers limp into the All Star break physically and spiritually. The Twins have taken 5 straight from the Tigers and a 4 game sweep would certainly suck hard.
The match-up is Justin Verlander and Nick Blackburn. If you want a little something different, the Future’s Game starts at 12:30 and it features Wilkin Ramirez starting in left field. You can also see Gorkys Hernandez starting next to him in centerfield.
POSTGAME: The Tigers found a way to win against the Twins. They made it a 2 run game instead of a one run game. I’m not sure if the fact that the Tigers were only outscored by 2 runs in this series makes me feel better or worse.
Justin Verlander was awesome today and probably even better than his final line indicated. Which was an impressive 7 inning, 2 run, 8 K, 2 walk day. The fastball was live. The curve ball was nasty. And he held Mauer, Morneau, and the whoever was hitting 8th today in relative check.
Once again the kids supplpied the power with Clete Thomas and Matt Joyce accouting for 3 of the 4 runs. Thomas with his first career homer and Joyce with his 9th. This sets up quite the dilemma as to who gets sent down when Magglio Ordonez returns on Thursday.
And on another note, in terms of the Twins doing “things the right way” and the genius of Ron Gardenhire. I’m sorry. I don’t see it. Yes, there is probably some bitterness at work. But I saw them fail continually with their heralded bunting. Once bunting into a force out at second, due in part to the fact that Carlos Gomez let up. I saw Alexi Casilla bunt into himself while in fair territory. I saw them flounder just as much as the Tigers with RISP. I saw a guy with a sub .300 OBP start all the games as the leadoff hitter. They did enough stuff better than the Tigers to win 3 of 4. But I saw nothing offensively or strategically that screams “the right way.” The pitching is great and will only get better when Francisco Liriano returns (assuming that Livan Hernandez gets dumped). But I still don’t think they are for real.