PREGAME: Here we go, another series in the Metrodome. I don’t know if it is the dome itself or the way that the Tigers play there, but this games are rarely enjoyable. This time first place is at risk with the Twins just 3 games back (and the White Sox 2 back).
Lee has a detailed comparison of the two squads doing better tonight, and things are pretty but the Tigers are benefitting from some good fortune in close games. I have a feeling that good fortune doesn’t really apply to the Tigers when facing Joe Frickin Crede though.
Tonight’s match-up features Luke French making his first career start. Never a dominating force, French got by with location and moxie until he started fanning batters to the tune of 7.9 per game resulting in a 3.60 K/BB ratio for Toledo.
Ten game winner Kevin Slowey gets the ball for the Twins. He walks like no one, with only 15 free passes in his 87 innings of work. But he will give up the occasional homer with 14 on the year, but those even seem to come in bunches.
Random Factoid of the night: Slowey has only induced 6 double play grounders this year. And 2 of them came in his start against Detroit.
Your Magglio-less lineup is:
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Cabrera, 1B
- Thames, DH
- Kelly, LF
- Inge, 3B
- Anderson, RF
- Laird, C
- Santiago, SS
Detroit vs. Minnesota – July 3, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday
POSTGAME: Well, that certainly was a memorable game. I’m sleepy so only bullet points tonight:
- The Tigers did get some offense, lots of it early in fact. But then there was the 9 innings of shutout ball between the 5th and the 14th.
- French was okay and he held Justin Morneau in check. I am surprised that Leyland didn’t let him go the one additional out for the win with the big cushion. It is a little indicative that the team has been struggling because that is when he tends to over manage.
- Two walks to Nick Punto. Really? The good news is that the Tigers only had 1 other unintentional walk.
- But two intentional ones, and this I thought was a great move by Leyland. Zumaya had control tonight, and the risk of walking in a run is always present, but passing on Mauer and Morneau when their runs were meaningless was good strategy.
- Despite the game going 16 innings only Freddy Dolsi and Joel Zumaya should be unavailable for the next 2 days. Rodney (6 up, 6 down) and Lyon were efficient in their multi-inning outings. Ni and Seay threw less than an inning and Miner was too ineffective to run up his pitch count.
- The Tigers didn’t play great defense tonight. During Miner’s meltdown inning, I thought both triples should have been fielded. Neither play was easy, but both plays were makeable.
- Eric Cooper was awful. I really think he’d ask the pitcher and catcher what number he was thinking of, whoever was closest got the call. One of the many egregious examples was a called 3rd strike against Polanco that Gameday tracked at 3 ft, 10 in off the ground. So at Polanco’s nipples essentially.
- Magglio hit into kind of a tough luck double play, but then he finally had a ground ball not go at someone and through for an RBI single.