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Tigers less worse than Twins, come back from 3 runs down in 8-7 win

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Final - 5.31.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota Twins 0 1 2 0 0 1 3 0 0 7 10 2
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 6 0 1 1 X 8 12 0
WP: Al Alburquerque (3 - 1)
SV: Joaquin Benoit (2)
LP: Phil Dumatrait (0 - 1)

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BOX

KEY STAT

An 8-0 W/L record.

The Tigers are undefeated against the Twins this season, and have beaten them eight consecutive games going back to 2010. This 8-0 streak is not even close to making up for all the bad, bad things the Tigers suffered at the hands of the Twins over lo these many years...but it's a start.

KEY PLAY

Any play not involving Ryan Raburn on defense. Other than that, lets go with Brennan Boesch's 8th inning sac fly, knocking in Danny Worth with the game winning run.

KEY THOUGHTS

For a win, there's plenty to be uptight about.

First, we have to talk about the .195 hitting Raburn...and I'm not going to bitch about his bat, easy target it may be.

His glove, or to be correct, the lack thereof, directly cost the Tigers three runs tonight. Amazingly, he wasn't charged with an error, meaning Raburn put the hurt to Scherzer's ERA.

In the 1st inning, Raburn misplayed Danny Valencia's two out liner into a double. The inning extended, he scored on Delmon Young's single

In the 2nd, Raburn broke in on Matt Tolbert's fly, misplaying what should have been out number one into a double. Tolbert would go on to score on a sac fly. As Raburn's misplay again extended an inning, Justin Morneau came to the plate with two outs. He took Scherzer yard for the first of his two home runs on the night.

Raburn's awful defensive play single handedly put the Tigers in a 3-0 hole. A hole they were ultimately able to climb out of...but one they shouldn't have had to climb out of in the first place.

Wasn't it just a few days ago Jim Leyland said (with extreme conviction, mind you) Raburn was his starting 2nd baseman for the foreseeable future? Then why was Raburn back in left field four days later? (Answer: Because Leyland wanted extra RH bats in the order...even if those bats were the light hitting Raburn and Worth) The guy has enough trouble playing one position, let alone two. Moving him around the field is only asking for trouble...and Raburn, as is his wont, found it.

As a public service, I'm posting this list for Leyland.

Things Ryan Raburn can catch: A predator, a cold, a bus, a cab, a fish, a wave, a ride, a thief. Things Ryan Raburn can't catch: A baseball.

I have to ask. How can a team expecting to compete for a division title hope to win games with a .195 hitting defensive butcher in the everyday lineup?

Leyland sure knows how to lie convincingly. His quote from the post game about Raburn's misadventures proves it:

"He's played good left field this year."

Max Scherzer again struggled: 6.2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO. But I'm willing to cut Scherzer a little slack for a couple of reasons. One, Raburn. Two, Leyland allowed a visibly struggling Scherzer to pitch into the 7th, where he was ultimately dinged for three additional runs.

With a runner on 2nd, and 1st base open, Leyland never should have allowed Scherzer to pitch to Morneau. It's even more questionable strategy considering the Tigers have eleventy-billion LH relievers. But he left Scherzer in, and Morneau hit a game tying two run home run. In relief, Charlie Furbushg came in to face the LH hitting Jim Thome...and made him look silly on a swinging strikeout. Couldn't Furbush have pitched to Morneau? If he wasn't ready, what about using David Purcey, who the Tigers were oh so desperate to acquire? I'm just asking, they're legit questions.

Given a real left fielder and if he had been pulled after muddling through six innings, Scherzer's start wouldn't have looked nearly so bad.

But the Tigers somehow came back from the early three run deficit, and won the game. You can thank Boesch (2 RBI), Miguel Cabrera (didn't have a hit...because the Twins would rather walk him 3 times than have him swing the bat) Victor Martinez (2 hits, 1 RBI) Jhonny Peralta (2 hits, 2 RBI), the Tigers' effective bullpen (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R), along with the Twins' not-so-effective pitching staff (8 R, 12 H, 5 BB) and their Raburn-like defense (2 errors).

The Tigers are winning games again, and not a moment too soon.

But it's funny how a come from behind, last at bat win can be so unsatisfying. I think it's because it didn't need to be a come from behind, last at bat win. Managerial decisions made it one.