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.
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.
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.