Detroit Tigers, 22-24, 4 games behind Cleveland, winning streak: 2.
I can finally stop worrying how the Tigers are going to get back to .500 without winning winning consecutive games. We are now in the midst of a full-blown 2-game winning streak. It’s almost enough to make one forget the shaky defense they have been playing.
The offense came through again, and the icing on the cake was the bullpen performance. Scherzer struck out 9, after striking out 15 his previous performance, but was faltering even before a rain delay ended his day early. Dotel came in with runners at 1st and 3rd with 1 out, struck out Willingham, got Morneau to foul out, then struck out the side in the 7th. All in all the Tigers struck out 16 in the game.
Manager Jim Leyland said “a good game and everything but to me the hero of the game was Octavio Dotel.” As for Dotel, when asked how he keeps throwing 94 m.p.h. at his age, he said, “Yeah, I’m 38, but I feel 15.”
Speaking of the bullpen, we may need it today. Rick Porcello takes the mound for Detroit, and he has gone 3 straight outings without making it through the 6th inning. Porcello faces P.J. Walters, who has been a pleasant surprise for the Twins, filling in for Nick Blackburn with a 2-1 record and 2.95 ERA, including his first complete game last time out. He also beat the Tigers 4-3 in his previous appearance against them. On the other hand, past performance is not a guarantee of future results, and he is named after pajamas.
I often find it entertaining to take a peek at the ESPN game previews and see what the two predictions for the game are, the AccuScore prediction and the fan prediction. Today AccuScore says Minnesota has a 52% chance to win this afternoon, Detroit 48% (I’m guessing home field is what swings it their way). The ESPN fan poll says: Tigers 96.2% Minnesota Twins 3.8%. On behalf of the Twins, we’d like to think you fans for your support. Both of you.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Prince Fielder. The Tigers’ slump and Fielder’s slumps coincided. Fielder was 4-for-4 yesterday, and homered off of Walters the previous time they met. Fielder keeps the hot bat, and we forget that he takes the field wearing clown shoes.
Today’s Leyland-Read-The-Vince/Coleman-Posts-and-is-Trying-Boesch-At-DH Lineup: