Scott Baker (5-2, 3.32) vs. Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.19)
Until the Tigers start winning some games against the Twins, I'll probably keep straining for metaphors to describe the aggravation that comes from watching this team from Minnesota constantly crush the hopes and dreams for this season in Detroit. Last night, I used Charlie Brown and Lucy to illustrate the repetitive frustration of losing close games to a team that just doesn't seem that good. Today, I'm going to use cluster flies to represent our pain.
During the two years that I spent at the University of Iowa, I had to endure the late summer/early fall infestation of these little critters that arrive out of nowhere and would gather around window sills or whichever side of the residence was warmer during a particular part of the day. I'd come home from class and see a cloud of these things around the window at the back wall of my bedroom.
When they first began to pop up, I thought I could control the problem. I'd see a cluster fly or two, smack them with a rolled up newspaper, and toss the squished pests into the trash. But then I'd come back to the room, and another fly would be there. Maybe two. Maybe more. You couldn't get rid of these things. Eventually the best you could is wait for the sun to go down and let the flies go off to find another source of warmth. Amazingly, these things never got on me when I tried to sleep. They wouldn't attack. They were harmless. But they were annoying.
It's not a perfect metaphor. These Minnesota Twins do attack. And they're most certainly not harmless when it comes to affecting the Tigers' standing in the AL Central. But they are so annoying.
This will be the fourth time Scott Baker has faced the Tigers this season, and in those previous three games, he's allowed six runs in 16 innings. (One of those starts was cut short after three innings because of a groin injury.) Two weeks ago at the Metrodome, Baker held Detroit to three runs in six innings. Watch out for Marcus Thames, however. Against Baker, he's batting 5-for-12 with three home runs.
I don't know what to say about Nate Robertson. The guy follows up two consecutive starts in which he allows 11 hits by pitching nine innings of one-run, four-hit baseball against the Mariners. And he didn't even get the win in that game because the Tigers couldn't score any runs until Seattle brought in their third-string catcher to pitch the 15th inning. The Twins don't even carry a third catcher, so I don't know how the Tigers plan on winning this one.
P.S. If you're going to the game, Jerkwheat reminds us that the Big Tilde folks are having a meet-up (Deadspin Pants Party) today in the standing room only section near the Hank Greenberg statue. Details can be found here.