Dare I say it, the Detroit Tigers are beginning to look like a team on a roll. Rick Porcello pitched like a Rick Porcello should, the Tigers, led by Delmon Young, piled on a bunch of runs, and Detroit cruised to an easy victory over Minnesota (so easy that the game elicited a scant 7 comments).
And now we come back with Mr. Verlander, who seems primed to become the first Tiger since Bill Gullickson (1991) to win 20 games, and the first this season in MLB. Facing a decimated Twins team that has lost 6 straight, this one seems all but inevitable. But this is baseball, so nothing can be taken for granted.
If ever there were an appropriate villain to play spoiler to Verlander’s bid for 20, it would be Carl Pavano, who takes the mound for the Twins. Pavano is 6-10, 4.54, and is facing a milestone of hs own: he has 99 career losses. But Tiger fans will not easily forget what he did to Detroit in the nail-biting 2009 season.
Player of the Pre-Game: Brandon Inge
Yes, he is not playing today. But with Santos sent back to Toledo, Martinez still hurting, and Kelly on paternity leave, he is Detroit’s only backup catcher. His job is to sit in the dugout, vote for himself for Top Web Gem (he is in the running against Ben Revere), and pray that nothing happens to Avila.
Today’s Make-Verlander-Proud Lineup:
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Ramon Santiago, 2B
- Delmon Young, LF
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Alex Avila, C
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Wilson Betemit, 3B
- Ryan Raburn, RF