Whatever spell the Twins had cast over the Tigers in recent years seems to have been broken. Last night’s 6-2 victory over Minnesota–with old nemesis Carl Pavano on the mound–was the 10th straight for Detroit in the rivalry, and also brings their record against Central Division rivals to a division best 20-10.
Justin Verlander did what Verlander does, showing that his previous rough outing was just one of those things, and for now the 2nd-half-collapse-panic can be shelved. Verlander struck out 9 in 8 innings, and walked nobody. In fact this is the 3rd time in the past 5 games a Tiger starter gave up no walks. Is this a Jeff Jones thing?
Tonight’s matchup features Max Scherzer of the improbable won-loss record (10-5, 4.53) vs Brian Duensing (7-7, 4.14), who has won his last 3 starts.
Newest Tiger Wilson Betemit tries to follow up on a record-setting debut which saw him shatter the Detroit baseball-skipping record with his 11-hop throw in the 9th. Victor Martinez, meanwhile, will try not to continue his GIDP hot streak–Martinez has grounded into 5 double plays already since the All-Star break.
Today’s Player of the Pre-Game: Alex Avila
Avila is the subject of a nice profile piece on the ESPN site.
Today’s Raburn’s Batting Where? Lineup: