PREGAME: The Tigers come into this series having just won 2 of 8 games they’ve played against the Twins this year. That’s not good, but with 6 of the 8 games so far coming in the Metrodome it is at least understandable. With this weekend’s games in Detroit though there are no excuses and the Tigers need to take care of business.
The Twins are sitting 4.5 games out of the lead while the Tigers cling to a 2 game buffer in the Central. This is a big series for both teams with the Tigers needing to take care of things while at home and the Twins trying to stay in the race.
Minnesota sends out Anthony Swarzak. The numbers aren’t overly impressive (3.1 BB/9, 5.0 K/9) but he is a 23 year old roookie and with a 4.69 ERA over his first 9 starts he is holding his own. In his brief career his numbers are much better on the road where he has held the opposition to a .534 OPS in 4 starts.
Armando Galarraga gets the start for Detroit. Galarraga was pummeled by the Indians last Sunday kind of erasing some of the progress he had made over his last handful of starts. He’ll be throwing to the Alex Avila again. On the radio pregame show Leyland wanted Avila to catch for Porcello and Galarraga because he felt they were the easiest to catch. I don’t know what that means exactly, but I like the fact he gets to play back to back days.
POSTGAME: This game had a little bit of everything. Early offense. Dramatic plays at the plate. An ejection. A near come back. It even had some good pitching (Brian Duensing fanned 5 and last 4.2 innings saving the Twins bullpen from disarray).
- Alex Avila is making everyone in the Tigers organization look like a genius, and making me look like an idiot for questioning the move. I’d grown leary of calling up a prospect to provide a spark. It’s only been 2 games but so far the sparking is working.
- Give credit for Leyland sticking with Galarraga after 2 awful innings. He managed to chew through 3 more innings after that. Not that Galarraga was good, but he did make it through 5.
- On the Granderson play, I was in the car and didn’t see it. The replay available online is inconclusive so I won’t comment on the call.
- I loved Carlos Guillen going for home on that play. Yeah, he was out, but I don’t mind a smart attempt at a hustle play, and coming after 4 runs it wasn’t a bad gamble. My favorite part of the play though was Rod Allen’s uncontrollable giggling when Guillen was clearly gassed on those last 90 feet.
- That good bullpenning the Tigers had been getting bailed on them last night with Perry and Rodney both surrendering multiple runs. And Brandon Lyon had already done the heavy lifting for Rodney by getting Mauer/Morneau in the 8th.
- Yes, the Tigers weren’t good in runner on third less than 2 out situations again, but they did playte 10 runs so it makes it a little harder to complain.