Justin Verlander (3-2, 4.50) vs. Scott Baker (1-4, 6.83), 1:10 p.m. EST
Last night's extra innings aside, hasn't this series already been exhausting? It's felt like a trial of endurance, and losing the first two games has only made the ordeal more grueling. Fortunately, the Tigers have their best starting pitcher ready to help salvage a win today.
Justin Verlander has won his last three starts, allowing one run in 23 innings. 31 strikeouts in that span shows just how dominant he's been. Verlander's also been pitching deep into games (throwing a complete game last Friday at Cleveland), which is something he'll almost certainly have to do today with five relievers having to pitch in last night's 13-inning slog.
Luke French was called up from Triple-A to give the Tigers another arm, but unless another one or two relievers can pitch on short rest, there's not a whole lot to work with today. If Verlander keeps up his recent performance, that might be enough. Of course, it would be nice if the offense scored enough runs to give him some breathing room.
For Minnesota, Scott Baker pitched seven innings of shutout baseball in his last start, in what was easily his best effort of the season. In his previous four outings, he'd given up four runs or more. Baker's career record against the Tigers is 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 12 starts.
Here are your starting lineups:
05/14/09 1:10 PM EDT
|Detroit Tigers||Minnesota Twins|
|Curtis Granderson - CF||Denard Span - CF|
|Ramon Santiago - 2B||Matt Tolbert - 2B|
|Magglio Ordonez - RF||Joe Mauer - C|
|Miguel Cabrera - 1B||Justin Morneau - DH|
|Jeff Larish - DH||Jason Kubel - LF|
|Clete Thomas - LF||Michael Cuddyer - RF|
|Brandon Inge - 3B||Joe Crede - 3B|
|Adam Everett - SS||Brian Buscher - 1B|
|Dane Sardinha - C||Nick Punto - SS|