Game 2009.025: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: The Minnesota Twins make their first journey to Comerica Park as the Tigers complete the homestand with a 2 game series. The Twins have been outscored by 26 runs this year, but are only a game under .500.

The Twins are one of only 3 AL teams to be slugging below .400, but the return of Joe Mauer should help to boost that number. On the pitching side, the team ERA is an uncharacteristic 5.42, but their FIP ERA is only 4.67, a hair better than the Tigers 4.71. What is normal is that they are once again leading the league in walks allowed.

Tonight it will be Edwin Jackson taking on Francisco Liriano. Jackson pitched 6 shutout innings his last time out, and got a no decision on the night of the infamous 10 run 7th inning.

Liriano brings in a 6.04 ERA, but his peripherals are fairly average. Baseball Tonight took a look at Liriano and noticed he’s throwing fewer sliders, and when he does he gets fewer swings and misses since his surgery.

Batters are hitting .333 and slugging .524 against his fastball while swinging and missing less than 10 percent of the time. While they aren’t hitting the slider well this season, they aren’t swinging-and-missing as much as they did preinjury, when batters missed the pitch almost half the time. Liriano (0-4, 6.04 ERA) takes the mound Monday night against the Detroit Tigers, who swing and miss against sliders 32.9 percent of the time, slightly higher than the league average.

One other note, Matt Treanor was moved to the 60 day DL which frees up a spot on the 40 man roster.

Minnesota vs. Detroit – May 4, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: Will someone please get Edwin Jackson some runs. In a near duplication of last Tuesday’s tilt against the Yankees, the Tigers went into the 7th tied in a pitchers duel. They came out of the 7th looking at a substantial deficit.

Jackson was good, probably better than his final line indicates. But  he did struggle in the 7th. After Justin Morneau hit a pretty good pitch for a two strike single, he lost Jason Kubel to a walk after getting ahead with 2 strikes. And it was all down hill from there. Curtis Granderson got a bad read on a shot to the base of the wall in center and the tie was broken.

Brandon Lyon plunked the first guy he faced. And then Miguel Cabrera converted a bunt into an out at the plate on a fine play. Clay Rapada made some good pitches but it restulted in a soft single off of Adam Everett’s glove and a bloop single to left.

Of course the Tigers offense was completely stymied. Miguel Cabrera was half the scoring, and the Tigers looked to be putting a mini-rally together late but it resulted in only one run.

And Carlos Guillen was brutal defensively. He is playing a ridiculously deep left field meaning runners can round third at will on ground balls, and the aforementioned blooper can happen. Yet he isn’t getting to the deep balls either. I don’t know how much has to do with his various ailments or inexperience compounded by a spring in which he spent too big a chunk as the Venezuelan DH. But it isn’t working.

82 thoughts on “Game 2009.025: Twins at Tigers”

  1. AVG R HR RBI SB SO ERA IP H BB SO
    MIN .268 112 19 102 18 155 5.42 222.1 248 70 150
    DET .270 129 27 124 14 147 4.12 209.2 212 85 163

    Not sure if this will stay intact but a good snap shot of two teams that are 1.5 games apart.

    >> Did anyone think that Verlander looked kind of menacing out there yesterday? I really liked what I saw. Is it Knapp?, another different better year?. I hope he stays on tract. It will be interesting to see what Bondo will bring when he returns. We could be looking pretty good pitching wise and we will need to, this will be a good, fun, close race all year long.

    Steve

  2. I noticed something a few days ago and thought it would be relevant to bring up when we faced a lefty. Every team in the Central has a losing record against RHP and a winning record against LHP. It’s still early, but I think this bodes well for our completely right-handed rotation.

  3. Excellent double play by Jackson on a popped up bunt. I remember when Pudge did that last year, although it wasn’t as sloppy.

  4. Whatever just happened, I’ve never seen it before. Crazy double play.

    BTW why does Raburn continue to get playing time?

    1. Is there no infield fly rule if it’s a bunt? Or does it have to be a pop up that goes high enough?

  5. Tigers only have three bench players right now: Santiago, Sardinha, and Raburn. Given that there’s a lefty on the mound and given Raburn’s overall established performance level against lefties, I don’t have a problem with him DHing tonight.

  6. Jeff, we’ve got Josh Anderson…who would have 1) caught Morneau’s foul ball and 2) caught Kubel’s double.

  7. How many runs have our various LF players given up this year? The biggest goof has to be last week with Josh Anderson opening the door for the 10 run inning.

  8. Great AB for Miguel. Guillen needs an AB like that. Come on Carlos, I’ll actually support you tonight.

  9. Yikes. Why weren’t we bunting there? Maybe Jim thought they would pitch around Inge.

  10. Great at bats, guys.
    That’s exactly what I want to see out of the middle of my order.

    1. Not only that, but Magglio was dogging it to first base. It shouldn’t have been a close play.

  11. Wow Ryan your right……….. I was just thinking that while yesterday was a great win, they have to shake off the euphoria. Lets go boys………..

    I wonder if this season will have us sweating out the games, weeks and summer? I for one will be glad to be in it all year

  12. Magge was going for the always-exciting 1st pitch GIDP but he was off a tiny bit…

    1. Does a struggling pitcher ever not have a good outing against the Tigers? Edit: Oops, wrong spot.

    1. Yeah, and with the Twins, it’s an 8 inning game. Joe Nathan is great, and he has never blown a save against the Tigers.

  13. I’m surprised Inge didn’t strike out his last AB it’s all good from here on though…

    Inge OPS:
    1st AB vs starting pitcher: 1.400
    2nd AB vs SP: .583 (7 K in 20 AB)
    3rd AB vs SP: 1.200
    vs relief pitchers: 1.265

    I guess it means the pitchers figure out Inge better than he figures out the pitchers–BUT then he figures out the figure-outing…

  14. The ball appeared large on the screen, so I thought it was going to die on the warning track, given how far down that pitch was. But it just kept carrying.

  15. All right. There’s a reason some guys can only go six. Jim’s always trying to stretch people further than they can go.

    1. About 90% of the people here would of been killing Leyland had he pulled Jackson any earlier.

      1. Yeah, I don’t know. He was cruising for a while there, then it just all fell apart. That double falling in was just rough.

  16. Mistake swing by Crede ends up as a 2 run double. Geez. Now Granderson gets burned. double Geez.. Now Lyon is pitching. Geez oh double Geez.

  17. Im not ready to cash in. We have three more innings of at bats. 1/3 of the game.

    Need to get out of this inning and mash.

    That said I am not a Rapda fan

  18. Ugh. Even though those runs don’t matter, Guillen should not be playing in left field. Period.

  19. So, does Carlos Guillen have to buy a ticket to play where he does in left field, or do the seats in the 19th row behind the bullpens come in his contract?

  20. Bloop freaking single now. Nothing but luck and bad umpiring is making this a big inning for the Twins.

  21. We’re prone to having a 5-run inning late as well. I wouldn’t write this one off yet.

  22. Jackson pitched better than the stats showed. In these big innings lately the game seems to speed up quickly. Laird needs to help slow it down a bit.

  23. Well, that wasn’t much, as far as 5-run innings go…(although it does give Inge one last chance to get on base).

  24. On the bright side, Perry’s getting better. He, Seay, Zoom, and FRod give us a good back end. We have no middle relief though.

  25. Carlos wasn’t deep enough for that liner to the wall. He should’ve moved up to the 25th row to give himself a chance on such a bloop like that Gomez double.

  26. Mike R: sure Carlos has been playing deep, but it’s just cautionary, to avoid collisions with Inge.

  27. Another disappointing implosion by our pitching staff…this is starting to get real old. Five of our last 7 games we have seen implosions….It is starting to become a troubling trend…

  28. I’m done with Carlos in LF also. I’m not sure what the solution is yet. We probably need somebody who can platoon with Anderson or a full-time guy.

    If Guillen is still gimpy, then he needs to be on the DL until he’s 100%. I’m kind of sick of our players playing hurt, especially when they aren’t being productive offensive or defensively.

  29. I agree whole-heartedly re: Guillen.

    Just as troubling is his nonchalant approach to routine fly balls. He’s out there “swiping” at the ball with his glove hand only. That extreme lack of fundamentals is going to burn a game one of these days. Probably sooner rather than later.

    This has already been noted, but he looked absolutely ridiculous doing that pirouette on the early drive by Kubel.

  30. Yeah, it’s getting harder and harder to hide Guillen out there, particularly when he’s not producing offensively. To paraphrase Bill Simmons, he’s not bringing anything to the table and he’s actually taking stuff off of it. Equally as troubling is Magglio Ordonez, Singles Hitter. When Adam Everett has a higher slugging pct. than your starting corner outfielders, there may be a problem. I fully expect Maggs and Carlos to get rolling again, but my patience is starting to wear thin…

  31. So is the general consensus that Everett has lost his fielding prowess? I’m in non-MLB package so I haven’t seen many games, but we’re a month in and i’m not hearing a lot of positives

  32. I think we’re only a month into the season, so it’s too early to draw much of a conclusion about Everett’s fielding. Based on his track record, you’d think he’ll be fine though.

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