The Twins came this close to sweeping the Mariners this weekend and getting back to even. .500 will have to wait at least two more games, and next up are the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers swept the Indians this weekend, with some fantastic pitching (see below) and some fantastic defense. I’m sure you’ve seen Curtis Granderson’s game-saving catch, but Granderson writes for Big League Stew and offered his thoughts on how improbable that catch really was. Detroit is traveling to the Metrodome for the first time this year, and they are not terribly excited to be back in Minnesota. Even though the Tigers have had some struggles in the Dome, here’s some thoughts on what they need to do to succeed in “Hubert Humphrey’s House of Horrors“. Minnesota is 11-9 at home this season, Detroit comes in with a 9-8 road record. The Tigers are in first place in the Central, tied with the Royals, and 3 games in front of the Twins.
This actually happened during the last Twins-Tigers series, but Carlos Guillen has struggled mightily this season and he was put on the 15-day DL, so he won’t be on the field this week. This post points out that while Guillen was in the lineup he provided below average defense in addition to the lowest batting average of any AL Central left fielder (guess which AL Central LF has the highest BA?). Still, some can’t help but think that last year, Guillen would continued to be in the lineup, no matter how dinged up and ineffective he might have been.
A couple of historic links as well; pitch-tipping has been in the news recently (thanks, A-Rod!), which brought up this story from back in the day. Secondly, I always enjoy reading people’s recollection of their childhood favorite players, especially when they were little known guys who just seemed to have fun with the game.
The Tigers had absolutely phenomenal starting pitching this past weekend, Verlander, Porcello, and Jackson all had fantastic outings, so the Twins will have their work cut out to put some runs up on this staff.
Slowey v. A. Galarraga
Perkins v. D. Willis
Dontrelle Willis makes his return to the major leagues in this game. He’s been progressing through the minor leagues so far this season, and it’s been a mixed bag of results (but do those results mean anything? You’ve got me). It’s easy to think that Willis’ return to the big leagues was inevitable, Jim Leyland sounds like he is expecting him to hold his own, or else he may find himself back down in the minors.
Baker v. J. Verlander
Verlander has only allowed one earned run over his last three starts, which could be the result of the addition of a slider to his arsenal. Verlander has only allowed four hits in his last two outings, so he’s going about as good as a pitcher can right now. The Twins should see if they can score enough off of Willis that they can carry over some runs into this game.