Should we start with the bad news? The Detroit Tigers lost two of three games to the Minnesota Twins this weekend, which cut their lead in the AL Central to two games. Yet again, a feeble performance from the lineup made an opposing pitcher look fantastic. (Though, to Nick Blackburn's credit, his location was very good today. And he'd been pitching quite well up until his past two starts.)
And perhaps for the first time this year, Rick Porcello looked like a rookie. After serving up a home run to Justin Morneau (who batted 9-for-15 in this series) in the fourth inning, he seemed to unravel - which is something we haven't really seen from him. The next six Minnesota batters reached base on four singles and two walks, bringing in another four runs. (Two of those runs came around to score, however, on a terrible error by Adam Everett, a jumping throw that wasn't anywhere near Ramon Santiago at second base.)
With today's loss, the Tigers complete a 3-6 road trip. Since winning an early June series at U.S. Cellular Field, the Tigers have lost two of three in each of the five road series they've played (going 5-10 overall). In six games at the Metrodome this season, they've gone 1-5.
How about some good news? Detroit has that two-game lead, thanks to their win on Friday night. And they're headed back to Comerica Park for a six-game homestand before the All-Star break.
Even better news? The Tigers only have to visit the Metrodome three more times this season. After that (barring a playoff), they'll never have to play baseball in that sterile mausoleum decorated with tarps, Glad bags, and fake grass patterns again.
We realize Marcus Thames was 0-for-7 in his career against Blackburn, and maybe Jim Leyland just figured he needed a day off. But did taking Thames out of the lineup have to mean just pushing everyone up a spot in the batting order? Don Kelly batting clean-up? Seriously, Jim? Is there another major league team that would've gone with that choice? The man has no home runs and a slugging average of .386.
Would it have really have been so bad to bat Brandon Inge fourth for a game? Push Miguel Cabrera down a spot? Even briefly promoting Magglio Ordonez to his former role would've been preferable. Why not try Santiago or Gerald Laird if you wanted to get wacky? I suppose there could've been worse choices (Everett or Josh Anderson), but not really.
Comment of the Day:
This was not an easy choice, people. The BYB Bunch brought it strong to the GameThread today. (I will most certainly take the writing tips under consideration.) But I'm hoping you'll all agree that we're trying to serve a larger movement with today's pick.
Go to this link and vote for Binge. You’re already in front of your computer.