Things sounded kinda sucky when I got my lone update while at work. Okay, they sounded really sucky. The Tigers were down 6-1 and Max Scherzer was in the process of being removed from the game. I can’t give you my take on him, obviously, because he was gone while I was still at work. He didn’t walk anybody, but the Twins must’ve gotten him figured out or something. I don’t know. At any rate, things were slightly better when I got home, and after that they really took off. Kudos goes to Brad Thomas, who shut the door on the Twins when Scherzer was knocked out, as well as the rest of the bullpen.
I didn’t see the beginning of the comeback (when I got home, the score was 6-5), but I saw the important part of it. Of course, the whole thing got spurred on by the Span dropped ball that might not have been. I kinda think the umpire blew the call, because it looked to me like he dropped the ball on the exchange. However, Span’s back was turned to the field so I have no idea how the ump would see this. And then the floodgates opened. First, a walk to Magglio to load the bases, followed by a Miguel Cabrera hit-by-pitch to tie the game, and then three straight doubles (and all three of them were absolute ropes). One interesting stat from Jason Beck: The Tigers are 9-5 in games where they don’t get a quality start from their starter, but only 3-5 in games where they do. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, but then again, neither does a lot about this team (and that’s both good and bad).
Okay, so this afternoon’s game is a very unlikely rubber match, but again, the Tigers’ bullpen is just about stretched to the limit. They need Dontrelle Willis to give them some innings. The Twins have drawn a lot of walks this season. Dontrelle has been known to walk people. Might not be such a good combination. In addition, he wasn’t very sharp in his last appearance, but there were two major confounding variables that make that hard to assess. First, he was sick. Second, he was pitching out of the bullpen, which is an unfamiliar situation. He’s only made one start against the Twins, which came last year and he lasted less than five innings (but didn’t give up that much in terms of runs) in a game which lasted 13 innings. Therefore, most of the Twins have at-bats against him, but not that many. Some former Rays and National League guys have a better sample. Other than Orlando Hudson having some success against him, nothing really stands out. He’s just gotta throw strikes. And then there’s Carl Pavano. No need to rehash what happened last year. If it’s any consolation, the Tigers finally figured him out in the final week of the season. Hopefully that carries over. Inge, Maggs, and Damon have all hit him well, for what it’s worth. And Magglio is one hit away from 2000 in his career, but he is being bothered by an abdominal strain. Still, he is in the lineup as of 12:20 PM.