Detroit Tigers, 84-73, 1st place, 1 up, magic number 5.
Doumit! Things were starting to go so well, even last night–a great outing by Smyly, who may end up being a key part of the stretch run/postseason…although the offense was strangely silent (again) against Diamond. Diamond said that the Tiger hitters had adjusted to him since the last start, so he adjusted to their adjustments. I suppose if Detroit had adjusted to his adjustments to their adjustments, he would have just adjusted to that.
At any rate…then the 6th inning happened. Cabrera was uncharacteristically caught admiring a home-run-that-was-not and was stuck with a long single. He then made up for it by getting thrown out by a mile at home (I couldn’t see if Lamont waved him home…if he did, then credit Crazy Geno with 2 miles of out at home in 2 days for the 2 big guys).
Then Doumit happened, and a particularly bad episode of the Rreality Show, and Detroit is back to a slim one-game lead. (Dotel is day-to-day with a sore right bicep, which is why he came out for Villarreal).
“Nothing comes easy for us it looks like” said Gerald Laird, and we can probably all agree with that one.
Justin Verlander has the task of keeping the Tigers on top, he is ready to go, and he still hasn’t given up on the Cy Young award. (Or, just for the hell of it, on Kate Upton, apparently). The last time Verlander faced Minnesota he came away with a 5-1 complete game victory; his last 7 starts against the Twins he is 6-0 with a 2.12 ERA). If there is anyone to watch out for it is the ever-annoying Denard Span, 15-38 (.395) lifetime against Verlander, .350 career vs. Detroit.
The Twins will try again with the Pajama Man, P.J. Walters, who kept Detroit to 1 run in 6 innings in Detroit Sunday. Let’s see if Detroit makes adjustments, and if he can adjust to the adjustments.
Stat of the Day: Over the past 2 weeks Jhonny Peralta is hitting .128 (.403 OPS), with 3 GDPs, and 3 more that should have been.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Omar Infante. Maybe the good plays in the field got his bat going. Maybe it stays going.
Today’s Hopefully-Adjusting Lineup: