clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game 48: Twins (23-24) at Tigers (20-27)

The Tigers continue on their mini-roll, having won 4 of 5. Sweeping the awful Mariners extended their winning streak to 3 games. Today, the baseballers from Motown begin a 3 game holiday weekend series against the best the Twin Cities have to offer, the Minnesota Twins.

The Twinkies are in 2nd place in the so far mediocre AL Central, 3 games ahead of the Tigers. But they are scuffling badly as of late, having lost 2 in a row, and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. This could be an opportunity for the Tigers to actually make some headway in the divisional race. There's no time to start like the present.

The Tigers once again face a struggling starting pitcher, as the Twins send Kevin Sweeny (0-4, 5.49) to the mound. At least you can say Sweeny is consistent, as he's given up 3 runs in each of his 4 starts, while never going deeper in the game than 5 2/3. Sweeny's periferals look decent (1.17 WHIP, 3 BB, 16 K in 19.2 IP), but he falls apart with men on base, as his 12.00 ERA and .333 BAA with RISP attests.

From poking around Sweeny's situational stats, something else stuck out. On pitches 1-15, he has a Bonderman-esque 11.57 ERA. (Actually, Bonderman's is 7.88) The Tigers best have their hitting shoes on from the first pitch.

For the Tigers, Armando Galarraga (3-1, 3.06) starts for the 7th time this season. Amazingly, he's been the de facto stopper of the rotation, as the Tigers are 5-1 in Galarraga's starts.

Just for the sake of comparison, I took a peek at Galarraga's situational stats, and found the numbers back up the fact he is also a slow starter, with an 8.44 ERA in his first 15 pitches. Galarraga's bug-a-boo has been 1st inning walks, but he then settles down for the next several innings.

I realize this is all small sample size type stuff, but interesting nonetheless.

I know this has been said before (after the Tigers swept the Rangers and Yankees earlier this year), but the Tigers may FINALLY be on the upswing. Detroit's bats have been torrid (scoring 30 runs against the M's), and the pitching has been adequate to pretty good (the starters got credit for the win in all 3 games).

The Twins, who always seem to play the Tigers tough, will be a good test. Hopefully the Tigers' recent performance is the beginning of a trend, and not just a momentary tease.

Short hops:

In one of the ByB game threads recently, Kurt of Mack Avenue Tigers had mentioned a Cleveland Indians blog had asked him to write a guest post laying out reasons why the Tigers could still win the Central. Well, that post is now up at Waiting For Next Year.

Jim Leyland is NOT happy over the edict from MLB to speed up the on field proceedings. As you'd expect, the Marlboro Man tossed out a few bon mots over Bud Lite's latest ill-thought out silliness.

"They want me to run to the mound and I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day?"

"This is not a timed sport, and baseball is like going to a movie. If it's a good movie, you stay. If it's horse-(bleep), you get up and leave."

Yep, that's our nicotine addicted skipper!

For the opposition POV on this series, SB Nation's Twinkie Town is where you need to head for all things Twins.