Monday: Tigers vs. Twins

The Twins got into town from Minneapolis last night and are taking batting practice this morning as I write this. The Tigers, having been at the ballpark all day and half the night yesterday, are hitting inside. We’ll see if there’s any difference in energy level with the way the weekend unfolded differently for these two clubs.

The Twins arrive in town with the worst record in the Majors, and among American League clubs, there’s no one in their neighorhood. Minnesota has 17 wins; nobody else in the AL has fewer than 23. It’s a pretty competitive league in general, and then there’s the Twins. Leyland says they’ll be back in it, because they always are. You wonder, though, at what point they have to show signs of getting back in it before Minnesota starts thinking about next season. I’m not talking about signs of contention. I’m talking about at least not having the worst record in the AL, on which the Twins own a five-game deficit. They need to get some players back, obviously, and Joe Mauer is at the top of the list, though it sounds like Nishioka is close.

The encouraging sign for them is that their starting pitchers are coming around, with a 2.79 ERA and .218 batting average allowed in their last 12 games, and seven-inning performances in nine of them. Over that 12-game stretch, though, the starters are 3-3.

A couple ugly numbers for the guys in the Tigers lineup against Nick Blackburn: Brandon Inge is 4-for-22, while Jhonny Peralta is 3-for-20. On the flip side, Miguel Cabrera is 11-for-24 with two home runs off Blackburn, while Austin Jackson is 3-for-10.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Andy Dirks, LF
  3. Brennan Boesch, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
  9. Brandon Inge, 3B

P: Brad Penny


  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Alexi Casilla, SS
  3. Jason Kubel, RF
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
  6. Jim Thome, DH
  7. Delmon Young, LF
  8. Danny Valencia, 3B
  9. Rene Rivera, C

P: Nick Blackburn


Leyland is talking to Dan Dickerson in pre-game. He says the offense is being compromised by “too many strikeouts”.
I guess that’s why he has handed the 2B job to Raburn and continues to go to the well with Inge.

Good to see Boesch swinging the way he is again. Confidence is building once more as well. Vry important RBI in the 1st—given all the times he has failed to do that in the recent past. In fact the Tiger team has fallen far short in that category, as we all so well know.

Blackburn looks like he has settled down. Penny will have to be sharp to stem the momentum.

Kinda what I was afraid of—better get Furbush warm.

Penny’s done. A little too over confident I thought.
Can’t seem to put away hitters with 2 strikes. 3 runs in now and we’ll be very lucky to get out of this without giving up a couple more.

I’ll be very surprised if Thome doesn’t yard one here.

At the game, hotter than (well really hot). Friday night I’m in a winter coat today on fire. Penny doesn’t lok good and of course we stopped hitting. Not a good combo!

Oh for cripes sake. How bad of an AB was that for AJ?
This guy is terrible when hitting in clutch situations. He had an absolute gift fastball on the 3-1 and seemed like he was afraid to swing the bat. Brutal. Once he was 3-2 I knew he was done because he simply cannot hit at all in those counts.
Awful performance –one that has to be correced.

Now they put Wells in a very challenging situation.

The definition of being a Detroit Tiger is a baseball player unable to drive in a run from 3rd with less than 2 out (and often with none).
I swear these guys must have to take a test for this.

Minnestoa has been given the momentum to win this game. It will take a big break for us to pull this one out.
Geez, those were bad ABs. I would have left Dirks in. The guy is a ballplayer.

Purcey was OK but he is gonna drive everyone nuts with the amount of walks he will give up. This leadoff walk looks pretty dangerous.

Q came in and literally shut the door. He was up to 98 and wouldn’t be nice if he could learn to cut that fastball, even a little? He would have a very lethal combination to get hitters out with that and his very nice slider.

Well–there’s the break we needed.
That fan should be thrown out of the game.
Talking about taking a test, these fans in the first few rows need to be given a responsibility card upon entering the park.
I think MLB can afford it.

Forgot to mention that Avila deserves some nice credit for getting the job done.

Dirks swinging a hot bat and hit lefties at Toledo .282/.349
Wont take long for the SOC to screw up his mind either.

Wow–that was a fine catch by Kelly. Perfect time and ball to go all out after. It’s a good thing he is “long” we’ll have to call him Long Don Kelly.

Sure nice to win those 1 run games.
Avila is one determinied hombre. We have a few spread across the team dragging the rest along.

i’ve been watching baseball for over 40 years. bottom line…time to get rid of leyland (plus his stupid coaches) and dombrowski. i don’t mean at the end of the year…i mean now. wake up mr illitch.
will someone please explain to me why 200 bav inge is in the major leagues? yah, right , he’s a good fielder. so are dozens of minor league ballplayers. yawn

I’ve long complained about front row fans not knowing the rules, and a responsibility card is a great idea, Dan. That should be MLB-wide. In this case, however, it looked like the two guys who reached for the ball missed it and the “interference” occured when it glanced off the young boy and/or his father. I would have thought it was an automatic two bases, but if the rule is umpire’s judgement, the correct call was made. Peralta would have scored because Delmon was nowhere near the ball yet. And if I’m Gardenhire, I definitely get myself run too.
Did Jackson take even one swing there in the 7th? That was an appalling AB. If not Dirks afterward, you have Kelly (LH), Wells (not many ABs and little experience), Worth (little experience) and the veteran Santiago (batting RHed). Not much to choose from there. I may well have just let Dirks take a crack at it since he was already in the game, but I can’t argue with PH-ing Wells. At least he swung at a couple. Bottom line, too many children (big league-wise) in this lineup sometimes, and there’s not much to be done for it.
It was more gut-wrenching than it should have been, but we got the win.

After reading the umpire’s explanation and looking at the replay, the guy in orange reached out tentatively AFTER the ball had struck the little boy. That must be what Darling saw. It appeared it should have been ruled a ground rule double, Peralta to third. We got one.
This bothers me not one bit. That HBP that brushed Inge in game 163 cost us more than one lousy ballgame. It changed Tiger history and led us to where we are today. We’re owed a countless number of calls after that one.

I know Cab’s OUR guy and we all love him and everything but what is it with the
stat of Florida and the concept of reality? There was that insult to democracy there a few years ago with the Bush re-election and now they have “determined there was insufficient evidence to support the claim Cabrera had been driving under the influence.”

I mean really, what kind of nonsense is that?

From The Detroit News:’s-license-back#ixzz1NtwQwq9Q

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