MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Brad Penny #31 of the Detroit Tigers reacts in the first inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on August 28, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
|Final - 8.28.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Brian Duensing (9 - 13)
LP: Brad Penny (9 - 10)
KEY UPCOMING ROSTER MOVE
Back to our scheduled game recap...
Luke Hughes, Tiger Killer: 2-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI
With Jim Thome having been traded, there's a new Tiger killer on the Twins. Light hitting infielder (against everyone but the Tigers, that is) Luke Hughes. He of the career slash line of .242/.307/.355.
Playing Saturday and Sunday, Hughes put up a career's worth of numbers: 4-8, 8 RBI, 3 R, 3 HR,, raising his season BA from .235 to .256.
I hate it when that happens.
Hughes' two run homer to deep left center in the bottom of the 4th, immediately following Rene Tosoni's RBI triple. The Twins went up 6-2, deflating hopes for a Tigers comeback. Neither can hit their way out of a wet paper bag, yet pounded Brad Penny.
I think we all knew right then it was not going to be the Tigers' day. Then again, I knew it when Penny was serving up BP fastballs. Right. Down. The. Middle. Of. The. Plate.
At the start of the game, the Twins' batting order had one player hitting better than.255, Jason Kubel at .283. That awful lineup pounded Tigers pitching for 11 R, 12 H, 3 HR.
Penny, who has been solid in his last three starts, wining two, was not good...though he wasn't helped by iffy defense. Most glaringly, Magglio Ordonez looked all of his 37 years, and then some, in right field. In the 4th, he was unable to catch up with a Danny Valencia blooper, then looked just plain old as Tosoni's triple ate him up (though I was surprised Magglio dived, something he NEVER does). Could a younger, better outfielder have caught those balls? I really can't say for sure. But I can say for sure Ordonez can't.
There was another rare David Pauley appearance, and it wasn't pretty: 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R. I think we are finding out why Pauley has been getting the mushroom treatment from Jim Leyland.
The Tigers hit into five double plays. FIVE.
Another typical game for Brandon Inge. He made an excellent defensive play at 3rd base, but was 0-2 with 3 LOB at the plate.
You know, for as bad as today's performance was, I need to put things in perspective.
AL Central Standings
I feel better now.
One loss does not a road trip make...though the Indians losing sure does help ease the pain. The Tigers finished a seven game trip 5-2, increasing their lead in the Central by a game as I write (though it does look as if the White Sox are going to win, moving to within six), winning series against the very good Rays and the always troublesome Twins. And don't tell me you wouldn't have taken 5-2 in a heartbeat if offered before the trip.
The Tigers start a six game home stand on Monday against the Royals, continuing a stretch of six consecutive series (and 7 of 8) against Central division foes. The pennant race has kicked into high gear!
FYI: I've done my best to hold down the fort, but I'm happy to relay word BYB's fearless leader, Kurt, will be easing his way back into his managing editor duties this coming week. Welcome back!