Nothing like two straight one-run games to make you feel alive, eh? For the last five innings, Detroit was playing with fire, but somehow managed not to get burned. The Twins kept getting guys on base, but apparently, the Tigers love living dangerously.
Andrew Miller got a little too close to the flame when he hit Justin Morneau with the bases loaded (which was the only way he got on base tonight) to bring a run in. And Jason Grilli allowed one more run because that's just what he does. But the Twins just couldn't push that tying run across the plate, leaving 14 men on base. Every time it looked like Minnesota was going to break the game open, Tigers pitchers got a key strikeout or fly ball.
Those who say Detroit doesn't need to make a big move to upgrade its bullpen received a rather convincing argument in their favor tonight, as four Tigers relievers pitched three scoreless innings to close out the game.
The Magglio Show
Coming into the game, Magglio Ordonez didn't think Johan Santana was so bad. In 40 career at-bats vs. last year's Cy Young Award winner, Maggs has a .400 average with four home runs and 14 RBI (and .850 slugging?!). So if anyone was going to come up with the big hit tonight, it would probably be Magglio.
But Maggs couldn't just leave it at one big hit. He came up with two, accounting for all three of the Tigers runs. In the fourth inning, Santana revealed some cracks of vulnerability by giving up hits to Ryan Raburn and Placido Polanco. It looked like he might be able to escape when he got Gary Sheffield to pop out in foul territory, but Maggs made sure to capitalize on the opportunity.
There had been some concern among Tigers fans (and surely within the coaching staff) that Ordonez had become so enamored with hitting the ball to right field that he wasn't turning on pitches he used to drive into the gap. Ever since the team came back from the All-Star break, however, Maggs has been turning with a vengeance. All three of his RBIs tonight came on authoritative blasts to left-center - first with a two-run double in the fourth inning, and then a solo home run in the sixth. Boost those numbers against Santana up to .419, five home runs, and 17 RBIs.
Has it been a while since we heard a "MVP!" chant?
EDIT: I just realized that's the second time I've used a headline like that. I'll get to work on some new material.