PREGAME: So, what will everybody be doing this afternoon? If you’re at work do you listen on the radio, or follow along with gameday, or do you stream mlb.tv, or do you leave work completely and head to the park (or a bar)? Or does your day not change and you’ll just wait to get home to see who had the better day, Scott Baker or Nate Robertson.
Robertson wasn’t good his last time out. Alfredo Figaro and the offense had to bail him out against the White Sox. But prior to that he was put into a must-win situation in Minnesota and he came up big. For a player looking to be relevant, this game today is dripping with relevance-inducing moments.
Scott Baker comes in with the crazy reverse platoon split homer numbers (21 of the 27 homers allowed this year have been hit by righties) so if you see Marcus Thames penciled in you now know why.
Oh yeah, one more thing, if the Tigers win today they clinch the division…
POSTGAME: Well, that was at least entertaining as far as frustrating blow outs go.
Those gritty Twins who play the game the right way made 4 errors, walked 6, and hit a guy…and still won easily. That’s in large part due to the fact that the Tigers were once again left longing for that big hit.
Nate Robertson got through 6 innings and allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, which is a perfectly acceptable performance. Meanwhile Scott Baker labored and he broke the 100 pitch mark in the 5th inning. The Tigers worked the count, saw lots of pitches, did everything right essentially except for getting hits at the end of those at-bats.
So the celebration is on hold. The magic number is still 2. But I’m not worried…yet.
- Angel Hernandez always feels the need to make his presence known. This time he did it by blowing a tag-up call on Ramon Santiago saying he left early when replays show he didn’t. That got Leyland irritated. When Bobby Seay didn’t get a called third strike on a borderline pitch to Denard Span, that probably got things simmering. When a pitch went behind Adam Everett and Marcus Thames had already been hit and knocked down (and Span had been hit earlier) Hernandez warned both benches which set Leyland off.
- Bonderman came out and promptly plunked Delmon Young, which was clearly retaliation and Bondo didn’t really care. The trouble is the Tigers are going to need some long relievers on Saturday. Bondo will get suspended.
- I don’t think anybody was throwing at anybody (except for Bonderman) but Thames was certainly peeved the second time he got buzzed. Both were breaking balls, but I think Thames took issue with the fact that they came in high.
- And when the ball went behind Everett, Mike Redmond didn’t catch. He didn’t make an attempt to catch it. Or to retrieve the ball. Yet Gerald Laird stayed on second base. I don’t know why he didn’t advance. I don’t know why Hernandez called time when nobody had the ball.
- I don’t know why Polanco didn’t play and didn’t pinch hit in several big situations. This is concerning and not because I think it is managerial malpractice, but because I think it was something other than Leyland keeping him out of the game. Polanco missed 2 ground balls this week which just isn’t him. I wonder if his back problems have flared up with the cold weather and the doubleheader.
- One very bright spot was the job that Ryan Perry and Fu-Te Ni did coming into a 2nd and 3rd no out situation and getting out of the inning unscathed.