I feel like I may have jinxed the Tigers last Sunday when using the "s" word. Instead, the Mariners hung a 14-7 loss on the Tigers and Jeremy Bonderman's elbow inflamed with pain, making us weep. So there will be no "s" word used today. I will just point out that Detroit has a chance to win a third straight game against the Twins, and that would be the second time they've done so in their last two trips to the Metrodome. Would you have predicted that?
Okay, let's not get too excited, lest we utter the "s" word.
Jair Jurrjens was terrific last Tuesday against the Rangers. And if he could hold that Texas lineup to one run in five innings, his chances against these Twins look pretty good. In Scott Baker's previous two starts versus the Tigers, Jeremy Bonderman was able to duel him to a standstill. Does Jurrjens have that in him? He just might.
Baker has given up 21 total hits in his past two starts (20 2/3 innings), yet has allowed three runs or less over his last six appearances. What can be expected today? Well, as has been the case throughout the season, if the Twins score some runs for Baker, he'll probably pitch well enough to win.
Joe Mauer won't be in the lineup for Minnesota today, while Detroit will field its semi-regular lineup with Carlos Guillen at first base and Ramon Santiago at shortstop. Pudge Rodriguez is at catcher, too.
▪▪ One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post: Mike McClary will be posting daily recordings of The Detroit Tigers Podcast for the remainder of the season. Hopefully, the Tigers put him to work by making him record throughout the post-season, as well.
I called with a comment on the latest episode (#31), and hope to contribute some thoughts to each of the shows from here on out. The listener line is 480-383-6350, if you'd like to record a post-game comment for Mike.