Game 2014.161: Twins at Tigers

89-71, 1 game up, magic number is 2.

Alright everybody, get your game faces on. The playoffs start today. We can’t sit around and wait for the Royals to lose the division. We have to take control ourselves.

The task won’t be easy. Even if the opposing team is 22 games under .500.

Here is the Tigers’ record and runs allowed per game against all MLB playoff qualifiers:

Baltimore – 5-1, 3.33
Kansas City – 13-6. 3.47
Los Angeles A – 3-4, 3.71
Oakland – 5-2, 4.14
Pittsburgh – 2-2, 5.25
Los Angeles D – 3-1, 3.75
San Francisco – 1-2, 4.67
(didn’t play Doug Fister’s Nationals, or the Cardinals this year)

Overall that’s 32-18 with 3.82 RAA per game. And we’re scoring 4.86 runs per game. More than a run per game against playoff teams? That is awesome! (Seriously, I’ve never felt better about the playoffs than I do right now).

But for whatever reason, the 2014 Twins play the Tigers like no one else. Here are the same numbers against the Twins:

Minnesota – 8-9, 6.29 runs allowed per game, 5.65 runs scored.

Look, baseball is a funny game. It’s a long season, and inexplicable trends can emerge, especially against division foes. For some reason, the 2014 Twins have the Tigers’ number, and remain a formidable obstacle in the way of a 4th straight division title.

Kyle Lobstein continues his march towards a full-time starter with his 6th career start tonight. None has been bigger than tonight. Every indication is that he’ll be up to the task, as over his first five he’s 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. In 23 2/3 innings at home this year, Lobstein has a .221 BAA, .624 OPS against, and a 1.01 WHIP. He hasn’t yet faced the Twins as a starter, though he has held Twins hitters to a .200 BA and .720 OPS in 25 plate appearances this year.

The Twins counter with Ricky Nolasco, who silenced the Tigers two weeks ago with an 8 inning, 5 hit, 0 run gem. Back in June the Tigers hit Nolasco a bit better, chasing him with 9 hits and 3 runs after 5 1/3. For the season, Nolasco has been very hittable – posting a 5.47 ERA and 1.53 ERA. Righties drill him to the tune of .303/.330/.498/.829 and Lefties crush him, posting a slashline of .335/.386/.524/.910. Nolasco is much more comfortable at home (4.46 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) than away (6.54, 1.75), and the September 16 home start against the Tigers was one of only two starts this year where Nolasco did not allow a run.

The division is right there in front of us. Let’s go get it.

Baseball Reference Game Preview here.

My pre-game player pick for the subsequent game is Ian Kinsler. Talk to you boys tonight.

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (5-9, 3 doubles)
2. Torii Hunter, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH (4-6, 1 double)
5. J.D. Martinez, LF (3-9)
6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (1-3, double)
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Andrew Romine, SS
9. Rajai Davis, CF

47 thoughts on “Game 2014.161: Twins at Tigers”

  1. Good write up Kevin….I’m fired up and ready…the Twins are the wall so let’s go knock it down!

  2. It looks like The Lobster is going to have to be almost perfect against Cy Nolasco, who is well on his way to hanging a golden sombrero on Miggy.

    1. though some suspect defense helped MIN on a few of them, MIN did get 8 hits in the 5th inning – 8 hits in one inning!

      I’ve officially given up on UM football (until they clean house: AD, coaching staff, etc) after getting manhandled by a mediocre MIN team…and now the Tigers are feeling some more of that Twinkie magic…this team (DET) is wearing me out!

  3. appears DET is content to watch the score board and pull for CWS to beat KC 2 games… to satisfy that “magic number”…that’s sad

  4. I’m not watching the DET game (thank God)… but I see where Davis got injured…any word on the extent? that could suck

  5. Hey, let’s do the time warp again!
    It’s just a jump to 2006!
    When the Royals swept us to the wild card.
    It’s just a jump to 2014.
    When the Twins send us to the wild card.
    We can’t run the bases, we can’t situationally hit
    We just ground ’em to second for outs.
    Let’s do the time warp again!

  6. Just how bad is it when you have to root for a team you can’t beat to beat a team you can beat because basically you can’t beat the worst team and pitchers in the league??

  7. These last two games have been a huge disappointment. HUGE. The honest thing for the Detroit Tigers to do would be to donate their playoff spot to a more deserving team such as the Mariners or Indians. Or the Minnesota Twins, for that matter.

    In two games, how many runs yielded by the corner clown show combo of Castellanos and Cabrera? My conservative estimate is 6.

    This is the team that is supposed to get through the A’s, Orioles, Angels, and some NL champion with insanely good starting pitching? Please.

    I think I can find something else to do tomorrow. Not watching and not caring might help Detroit somehow. Watching and caring the last two evenings sure hasn’t.

    1. well stated Loon!!

      I’m not sure if KC ‘deserves’ to win the division, but I know DET doesn’t (deserve it)

      1. I am just SO disappointed, Stormin’. Yes, I knew it wouldn’t be easy against the Twins, but to be stomped in two consecutive games? It doesn’t even matter that it’s the Twins. Could be anyone. This is give all, must win time. We’re inside the 5 yard line… a short run and two huge sacks later, we’re back at the 25… and our field goal kicker just quit.

  8. Wow, Chicago got out of what could have been a big KC inning with a DP that was, well, whatever the opposite of clowns is.

  9. I hope the playoffs go fast I can hardly stand watching the Tigers play…maybe a 10% of winning it all…if not lets get this over with…I am hoping for the win but they sure heaven’t earned it!

  10. #Septober is nuts. Oak has not yet clinched a playoff berth. AJax just lined out with the Mariners’ winning run ar 3rd.

    1. I’m pulling for Seattle. An underdog thing. It wouldn’t necessarily be in the Tigers’ interest to have to face the Mariners.

  11. The Tigers misunderstood you today, Kevin. They thought you said “game feces,” and they obliged. Not careful readers.

    Careful readers note that you got the Tigers’ record coming into tonight wrong. 89-71. And you didn’t mention Jhonny Peralta’s Cardinals.

  12. They’ve updated Rajai’s injury to “Grade 1 sprain of the pubic symphysis.” The what? It’s not the groin, but apparently something in the area of the groin.

    1. Highly underrated and ahead of its time, only recently discovered, performed, and recorded. Royal patrons just weren’t ready for the oboe/cowbell duet in the Scherzo.

      1. Yes, he was known for his max Scherzo usage, and his music is now a hit at all of the “weddings” Kevin attends.

  13. She declined my offer of pubic symphisis, even though it was made with the best of intentions. Something about “Justin wouldn’t be cool with that.”

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