MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 26: Jose Valverde #46 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning on May 26, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 6-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
|Final - 5.26.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Max Scherzer (4 - 3)
SV: Jose Valverde (8)
LP: Carl Pavano (2 - 4)
In beating the Minnesota Twins 6-3, the Detroit Tigers won consecutive games for the first time since April 17-18. Max Scherzer, Octavio Dotel, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde combined to strike out 16 Twins. Prince Fielder led the offense with 4 hits and an RBI.
There was plenty to like about the Twin killing.
- Max Scherzer followed up his 15 strike out gem with a 9 K performance. Scherzer is now 2nd in the majors with 72 strikeouts, 3 behind Justin Verlander.
- The bullpen did an excellent job after the 2nd rain delay of the afternoon. Octavio Dotel gets bonus points for his lights out 1 2/3 innings, striking out 4, nipping a Twins rally in the bud. And a 1-2-3 inning from Jose Valverde? Almost as shocking as his sweet potato colored goatee.
- The Tigers 1-4 hitters were 9-17 with 6 RBI, 5 runs, 3 extra base hits and 0 left on base. That's what we've been waiting to see!
- There's been a considerable amount of defensive butchery from the Tigers as of late, so a relatively clean defensive game was a sight for sore eyes. Though I was peeved Benoit made his life more difficult by not beating Ben Revere to the bag on an infield single. But when that is the only defensive gaffe to stand out...I'll take it.
- The Tigers were as aggressive on the base paths as I've ever seen them. They took the extra base on 3 consecutive plays in the 5th inning, playing a big part in the game clinching 4 run rally. Honestly, it was fun to watch!
- Prince Fielder should change his name to Prince Singler. 4 singles today raised his average to .311. The home runs aren't coming...yet. Fielder is hitting the ball hard, the power numbers are going to come.
The monkey is off the Tigers back, they've finally won consecutive games. May a sweep of the Twins, then long winning streak, commence!
For the nuts and bolts recap:
Someone has been on my mind the last couple of days. One Quintin Berry.
Today, Berry had an OK game at lead off, scoring a run and playing good defense. I hope he's for real. Twitter and the BYB game thread exploded with glee when he easily scored from 1st on Dirks' double. Berry is playing well, adding dimensions the Tigers have lacked, speed and defense.
But everyone saying he's here to stay, to stick him in left field, he'll replace Ryan Raburn on the roster? Slow down! 4 games does not a career make. Expectations need to be lowered just a tad. Actually, they need to be lowered considerably.
Before getting the call, Berry was a 27 year old minor leaguer playing for his 4th organization with a career .267 BA and more revealingly, a .697 OPS. That is not the resume of a starting major league outfielder. If Berry plays well, it's possible the Tigers do keep him around as a 5th outfielder/defensive replacement/pinch runner. But I can also see a more likely scenario. The Tigers sending him back to Toledo when Austin Jackson comes off the DL. Why? The more Berry plays, the more he'll be exposed. And if he stays, who do you send down? It won't be Raburn. Teams don't replace their 2nd baseman with an outfielder...and calling for it constantly on Twitter won't make it happen.
Sure, the Cinderella story could continue. But odds are Berry will regress to what he is, a backup outfielder you stash at triple A for depth purposes. So enjoy it while it lasts.
Prince Fielder:4-4 today, 7-12 in consecutive wins. I think it's time to give Fielder a contract extension. Hey, fans were ready to dump him and his contract a a week ago. 4-4, R, RBI.
Andy Dirks: Had been slumping for a couple of weeks. Came out of if it today with a pair of RBI doubles. 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 R.
Octavio Dotel: The Twins were on the verge of a rally when the door was slammed by a rain delay, then locked tight by Dotel. Faced 5 Twins, struck out 4. 1.2 IP, 0 R, 4 K.
No other Tigers really deserve being called out, so...
Denard Span: Just because.
GAME 45 PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Thanks to his marvelous 2nd inning at bat, Alex Avila won the BYB vote with 49%.
Game 46 Player of the Game
Andy Dirks (72 votes)
Octavio Dotel (147 votes)
Prince Fielder (146 votes)
365 total votes