PREGAME: Look, I’m as nervous as the next guy about this game. The Tigers are not playing good right now. But let’s look at the worst case scenario here. If the Tigers lose they still have a 1 game lead and they never have to go to the Metrodome again. Ever. A better case scenario is they win, and never have to go to the Metrodome again. Ever. Either way there is a silver lining.
Nate Robertson returns to the rotation due to the knee induced suckitude of Jarrod Washburn. The first time he returned was due to the elbow induced suckitude of Armando Galarraga. Robertson was solid for 2 starts and then incurred pelvic induced suckitude of his own. But a bullpen session on Thursday was encouraging enough to put him back in the rotation.
Scott Baker goes for the Twins. The Tigers have actually gotten to Baker twice this year getting him for 6 runs in August and 5 runs in May. Baker is much better at home where he’s limited opposing batters to a .637 OPS. He also has a crazy reverse platoon splits where he has allowed 21 of his 25 homers to right handed batters despite facing each side in the same amount of PA’s.
Your, “c’mon Marcus” lineup is
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Thames, DH
- Cabrera, 1B
- Ordonez, RF
- Guillen, LF
- Inge, 3B
- Laird, C
- Santiago, SS
For those of you who don’t frequent Comerica Park, or don’t pay attention what happens when the Tigers win, their victory music is One More Time by Daft Punk. Hopefully we can say one more time a few more times before the end of the season and I’ll continue to post it after wins until the copyright police come after me (and to try and stave that off, you can find One More Time on the album Discovery. You can also download it legally here).
As for the game, I missed most of it. With all the bad baseball I’ve endured I’m sad to have missed this one. I mentioned the silver lining about being done with the Metrodome (which may not be true if a 1 game playoff is needed as pointed out by RPS), but the other silver lining is that with the lead shrinking and a September lacking for pennant races, Tigers games are moved up to the front of Sports Center. So I’ve seen the highlights.
Three of Robertson’s four starts down the stretch have been effective. Not lights out, but effective. He was hurting for the clunker, but if healthy could Robertson find himself pitching a postseason rotation? That would have been crazy talk most of the season, but it isn’t nearly as crazy now. He came up big when the team needed him to even though he couldn’t pitch very deep into the game.
And the bullpen came up big again, even the much maligned Zach Miner came up with 2 very valuable innings. Miner has come up big several times over the last couple weeks and has mostly bridged the gap to Seay-Lyon in a competent manner.
The offense got 6 runs. That’s good. Just what the doctor ordered. And they added on a couple late ones also. That’s good.
The Tigers leave Minnesota still up 3 games. For all the hand wringing, nail chomping, and gnashing of teeth the last few days, that ain’t so bad.