A quick two-game series in Detroit kicks off a short 4-game road trip for the Twins. Minnesota is 3-5 on the road (but 2-1 against teams that don’t have Sox as their team name [a-Soxual?]). After this series the Twins will have played one series against each team in the AL Central (they’re 4-5 thus far this year in the division). The Tigers come into the series finishing up an eight-game homestand which has seen a series loss to the Yankees and a series win over the Indians. Like the Twins the Tigers will complete their first circuit of the AL Central with this series (they sport a 5-3 divisional record thus far). Actually, Detroit is in the middle of a 13-game stretch against only AL Central opponents.
Liriano v. Edwin Jackson
In Jackson’s last start he went 6 innings without allowing a run against the Yankees. He left with the game tied at 0-0, only to see his bullpen do things that no bullpen should ever do. One inning later it was 10-0 Yankees, and the game was effectively over. The big inning has plagued the Tigers this year, which is an incredibly frustrating plague to endure (not like locusts, locusts are a piece of cake compared to the plague of the defensive-miscue-resulting-in-big-innings-for-the-opposition).
Blackburn v. Rick Porcello
Porcello has started four games for the Tigers this year despite never pitching above high-A ball prior to the season. He is the youngest player to appear in a game in the AL this season. Predictably it hasn’t been a cakewalk for Porcello, or phellow phenom Ryan Perry (sometimes they just need a hug). There are arguments on both sides (aren’t there always?) concerning the development of these young pitchers, and the post linked above and the companion poll seem to indicate that Tigers fans feel like he will probably spend some time in the minors this season, once everyone is healthy. Hopefully the Twins can help him on his way back down to the farm.
Not pitching in this series (or for the Tigers at all this season so far) is Dontrelle Willis. He’s still working his way back through the minor leagues, and his starts are getting mixed reviews (to put it nicely, calling someone AAA back of the rotation starter doesn’t really speak to much confidence in their ability to succeed in the bigs).