And so, we must wait a little bit longer (whether that ends up being one day or another 22 years, I’m not gonna say). I don’t have a lot of insight on this game. I was only able to listen to the first two innings and the ninth inning (though I was able to sneak out of lab once to check the score). Hey, things were going good when I left for lab. The Tigers had just taken a 1-0 lead. How was I supposed to know that Nate Robertson was about to give up three in the following half-inning? I can’t really comment on Nate, but from what I’ve heard, he was not as good as he was at the Metrodome, but better than he was in Chicago. Casey Fien and Bobby Seay? Maybe not so good, especially with Bobby Seay. I don’t know if it was rust or if the pectoral strain is still bothering him (It also doesn’t help matters that Denard Span owns him anyways). This is nitpicky, but after the Orlando Cabrera bases-clearing double, WHY would you ever pitch to Joe Mauer with first base open and two out? I know they had a righty in the on-deck circle, but I’d take Gomez over Mauer any day. Then there were the hit batter fireworks and subsequent ejections. Apparently, Jose Mijares took matters into his own hands when he wasn’t supposed to, because Ron Gardenhire was none too pleased with what happened. None of the Twins seemed to blame Bonderman for retaliation. I don’t know why Laird got ejected. Still, if there’s a positive to be had, it’s that this game featured some strong pitching from Ryan Perry, Fu Te Ni, and Armando Galarraga (Talk about rusty; he hadn’t pitched since the last game of that Royals series; I certainly hope they’ve gotten the elbow problems cleared up). By the way, by now you’ve probably seen the circulating video of Joe Mauer tipping pitches to Jason Kubel against Verlander (and I’m amazed that that video is still up on YouTube). I actually thought it was fascinating to be guided through how teams do that. And it’s not something I have a problem with. I’m not happy that it was done against the Tigers, but it’s not cheating and every team does it. Our guys do it, too (I caught Pudge tipping off Sean Casey once a couple of years ago, and I’m sure the current Tigers steal signs as well).
And so this has come down to the final weekend, which means it’s time to beat the White Sox. Minnesota has the Royals at the Metrodome, and while they do face Greinke tomorrow, the other two pitching matchups heavily favor the Twins. Meanwhile, the Tigers have a tougher task against White Sox pitching. First up is Jake Peavy, who blanked the Tigers last week. Hopefully, the fact that they’ve seen him so recently will allow them to scratch out some runs against him, or at least get him out of the game in a reasonable amount of time to have a shot at the Sox bullpen. I took a closer look at the numbers, and they’re actually uglier than I thought, although it’s too small a sample size against most hitters. Polanco is the ONLY Tiger that hits Peavy well (8-for-13). Cabrera can’t touch him (2-for-19 with nine strikeouts). Inge is the only Tiger to have homered off of Peavy, and he and Everett are the only ones with RBIs off him. Like I said, there are several Tigers who are 0-for-3 or 1-for-3, which is pretty meaningless until they get more ABs against him. He has also never faced Gerald Laird, Ryan Raburn, Marcus Thames, or Clete Thomas. Meanwhile, Edwin Jackson is coming off a loss to the White Sox last Sunday when they scored five off him (that seems like it was weeks ago). He’s going to have to be better than that if he wants to outduel Peavy. He actually got through most of the game with little trouble except for the sixth, when the White Sox bunched several extra base hits against him. And the fifth run was an inherited runner that scored because Fernando Rodney isn’t good in non-save situations. I’ll be at work tonight, but that doesn’t mean the Tigers shouldn’t win on my account.