2011 Game 99: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins

Max Scherzer vs Brian Duensing

I was hoping to be able to write about the Twins tying the White Sox for third place, but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow. Instead, let's investigate the non-Verlander pitchers. Verlander is 13-5 for the season, but the Tigers are 14-8 in games started by him. Makes sense. Especially since he has yet to throw fewer than 100 pitches in a game this year. He only had three last year and five the year before.

Anyway, that leaves the rest of the Tiger staff at 38-38. Tonight's starter, Scherzer, is only 10-5 but the Tigers are 13-7 in his starts despite his mediocre 4.53 ERA. The offense has also scored 5.2 runs/game for him. Note to Duensing: don't let the Tigers score that many runs. Note to Twins offense: despite Scherzer's ERA, he has a decent FIP and pretty good xFIP, so practice some patience.

Where They Stand

Minnesota is 46-52, fourth in the AL Central, 6 games behind Detroit.  The Twins lost their last game and are 6-4 in their last ten games.
Rochester is 37-61, sixth in the IL North, 19.5 games behind Lehigh Valley.  The Red Wings have lost two consecutive games and are 3-7 in their last ten games.
New Britain is 49-47, fourth in the EL East, 4.5 games behind New Hampshire.  The Rock Cats have lost three consecutive games and are 4-6 in their last ten games.
Ft. Myers is 14-13 in the second half, fourth in the FSL South, 3.5 games behind St. Lucie.  The Miracle lost its last game and is 5-5 in its last ten games.
Beloit is 14-12 in the second half, third in the ML West, 2 games behind Kane County.  The Snappers have lost two consecutive games and are 5-5 in their last ten games.
Elizabethton is 18-12, second in the AL West, 2 games behind Johnson City.  The Twins have lost three consecutive games and are 7-3 in their last ten games.
The GCL Twins are 15-13, second in the GCL South, 1 game behind the Orioles.  The Twins have won three consecutive games and are 5-5 in their last ten games.
The DSL Twins are 29-17, second in the B. C. B. C., 2 games behind the Orioles.  The Twins won their last game and are 5-5 in their last ten games.

This Week in Twins Transactions

Scott Baker was placed on the fifteen day disabled list by Minnesota.
Matt Tolbert was optioned from Minnesota to Rochester.
Chuck James was recalled from Rochester to Minnesota.
Scott Diamond had his contract selected from Rochester by Minnesota, then was optioned back to Rochester.
Kevin Slowey was optioned from Minnesota to Rochester.
Steve Singleton was released by Rochester.
Denard Span was assigned to Rochester on a rehab assignment.
Jason Kubel was assigned to Rochester on a rehab assignment.
Liam Hendriks was promoted from New Britain to Rochester.
Tony Davis was placed on the seven day disabled list by New Britain with left elbow discomfort.
Reggie Williams was sent from Ft. Myers to Beloit.
Alex Wimmers was activated from the disabled list by Ft. Myers.
Jon Goncalves was placed on the seven day disabled list by Ft. Myers.
Matthew Tone was activated from the disabled list by Ft. Myers.
Cole Johnson was promoted from the GCL Twins to Elizabethton.
David Bromberg was sent to the GCL Twins on a rehab assignment.
Angel Morales was sent to the GCL Twins on a rehab assignment.

This Week in Ex-Twins

Baltimore agrees to terms with J. J. Hardy on a three year contract extension.
Florida organization (AAA New Orleans) places Frank Mata on the seven day disabled list.
Milwaukee places Carlos Gomez on the fifteen day disabled list.
Yankees organization (AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) activates Mike Lamb from the disabled list.
Yankees organization (AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) places Terry Tiffee on the seven day disabled list.
Philadelphia organization signs Steve Singleton and assigns him to Lakewood (A).
Pittsburgh activates Joe Beimel from the disabled list.
San Diego places Jason Bartlett on the paternity leave list, then reinstates him from that list.
San Diego organization (AAA Tucson) places Bobby Kielty on the seven day disabled list.
Toronto organization (AAA Las Vegas) places Sean Henn on the temporarily inactive list.

Minor Details: Games of 7/21

Durham 18, Rochester 3 in Rochester.  The Bulls took a 10-0 lead after two innings.  Chase Lambin had two hits.  Denard Span was 0-for-3 and Jason Kubel was 1-for-3.  Andy Baldwin surrendered ten runs on eight hits and two walks in two innings, yielding five home runs.  Cole DeVries worked 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits, and Toby Gardenhire took the mound to pitch a scoreless ninth.

Altoona 8, New Britain 4 in Altoona.  The Curve scored seven runs in the sixth.  Chris Herrmann had two singles and a double.  Joe Benson and Mike Hollimon each singled and doubled.  Deinys Suarez pitched five shutout innings, but then surrendered all seven sixth-inning runs; for the game he allowed seven runs (four earned) on four hits and four walks in 5.2 innings, striking out five.

Clearwater 2, Ft. Myers 1 in Clearwater.  The Threshers scored both their runs in the first inning.  Oswaldo Arcia singled and tripled, scoring the only Miracle run.  Jhon Garcia went seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out seven.  Matthew Tone struck out two while giving up one hit in one inning.

Great Lakes 6, Beloit 5 in Great Lakes.  The Snappers led 5-0 after seven, but the Loons scored three in the eighth and three in the ninth.  Nick Akins hit a walk-off three-run homer off Bart Carter with one out in the ninth.  It was the only batter Carter faced.  Daniel Ortiz doubled and tripled.  Jairo Perez and Derek McCallum each hit a two-run homer; it was Perez’ ninth.  Starter Ryan O’Rourke pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out four.

Princeton 12, Elizabethton 3 in Princeton.  The Rays scored three in the second, three in the fourth, and six in the seventh.  Miguel Sano had two doubles.  Eddie Rosario hit a two-run homer.  Tim Shibuya allowed six runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk in only four innings.  Seven of the Rays’ runs were unearned.

GCL Twins 7, Rays 5 at Twins.  The Twins scored four in the seventh to overcome a 5-3 deficit.  Romy Trinidad, Joshua Hendricks, and Michael Quesada each singled and doubled.  Jorge Polanco had two hits.  Starter Angel Mata gave up an unearned run on two hits in three innings.  Miguel Munoz got the win, giving up a run on a hit and three walks in three innings.  Luis Nunez worked a perfect ninth, striking out two, to get the save.

DSL Twins 7, Reds 6 at Twins.  The Twins led 6-0 after seven, but needed a run in the ninth to get the win.  Victor Arias singled to drive in Jose Ramirez with the winning run with two out.  Dubal Baez had three hits.  Ronald Jimenez drove in three runs.  Starter Javier Vargas pitched five hitless innings, giving up only one walk and striking out five.  Elias Villasana followed with two perfect innings, striking out two.  The next pitcher, Carlos Suarez, did not allow a hit either, but walked three and hit one, retiring only one batter.  Both Rays hits came off Edgar Martinez.  Francisco Nunez retired all four batters he faced to get the win.  The two teams combined for only seven hits, but combined for six errors and thirteen walks.

Game 98 Recap: Tigers 6, Twins 2

DETROIT 6, MINNESOTA 2
Record
- 46-52 (4th in Central, 1.0 game out of 3rd, 6.0 games out of first)
Highest WPA
- Cuddyer and Mauer (both 2 for 4) were the only positive WPA Twins
Lowest WPA - Jim Thome (0 for 3, BB, 3 SO) - Only one true outcome short of the complete set.
NOTES -
Twins are 0-6 against Detroit this year.
Fangraphs
MLB Recap

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Not exactly the start to the series that the Twins were looking for.  Verlander was pretty good, and he dialed it up a bit after Cuddyer's leadoff triple in the second inning.  Strikeouts of Thome and Valencia along with a Delmon groundout to second (BOOM BITCH!) got him off the hook and kept the game scoreless.

Then it was a matter of Pavano trying to keep it close.  After a frightening 4th inning (bases loaded, one out) was defused by a double play, it seemed like a one-run deficit could be overcome.  Then a 2-run Brennan Boesch homer in the 5th extended the Tiger lead.  3 runs against Verlander seemed a tall order, but the Tiger bullpen has been pretty bad and my friend who is a Tiger fan wouldn't admit victory.

The sixth inning saw the Twins score on a string of 2 out hits, but the top of the inning had already yielded two more Tiger runs, so the deficit was only narrowed to four.

Beating Verlander is always a tall order, and it was one the Twins weren't up to last night.  Fortunately, there are three more games in the series, and no more Verlanders in the Tigers' rotation.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.