|Final - 7.22.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Max Scherzer (11 - 5)
LP: Brian Duensing (7 - 8)
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4: Jhonny Peralta had 4 RBI. Max Scherzer allowed just four hits in seven innings of one-run ball.
KEY STAT B
11: The Tigers have won 11 consecutive games against the Twins. Holy crap, eh?
OK, when you win 8-2 there's not really any key play per se. Maybe there was. But I'll highlight this one for the description (via mlb.com) alone:
Victor Martinez reaches on a fielder's choice out, third baseman Danny Valencia to catcher Joe Mauer to third baseman Danny Valencia to pitcher Brian Duensing. Ryan Raburn out at home. Magglio Ordonez to 3rd on the throw.
Don't worry. Detroit went on to score 3 runs that inning.
For years, games in Minnesota meant fear and loathing. If the Tigers got out to an early lead, you just knew Minnesota would come back. And you knew the Metrodome would be filled with loud, obnoxious fans cheering them on. But the key word there is "Metrodome." Minnesota may have won its fair share of games at Target Field last year, but the new place just isn't the home field advantage the old place was.
So the Tigers have won 11 consecutive games against the Twins. They're 4-0 in Minnesota this year, 3-0 in Detroit. Going back to last September, the Tigers have won five consecutive games in the Twin Cities.
I don't know how long this can continue. Surely, not as long as we'd wish. (At least two more would be nice!) But while it's happening, I'm sure going to enjoy it. One thing is for certain, I enjoy not having a feeling of dread during every game in Minnesota. That feeling might not be completely gone. But these clearly aren't the same Twins that scared the living crap out of Tigers fans the past several years. Heck, this one makes errors, both physical and mental. I'm not used to the Twins beating themselves when they play Detroit.
OK. so this game specifically: Ryan Raburn went 2-for-4 and homered. I know a lot of people probably groaned when he was written into the lineup, but we are getting pretty close to August.
Jhonny Peralta. Holy snikies. Seven RBI in this series already. He hit a home run today. Man he is giving Minnesota the ol' whatfor.
By the way, the Tiger have scored 29 runs in their past four games. And they've done that while Wilson Betemit hits more like Brandon Inge. (1-for-4 with 3 strikeouts? Well at least he got a hit tonight.)
Max Scherzer may be getting things on track. As Fox Sports Detroit's postgame pointed out, he has a 1.77 ERA over his last three starts. That's the Scherzer the Tigers need. We know the Tigers will be able to score a lot of runs, but the rotation just has to be a bit better. He's doing it by not hurting himself with free passes, giving up just one walk in those three games.
The only real disappointment tonight was that Jose Valverde had to be called on to close out a game that his team led 8-1 entering the ninth. Not that it's a big worry; he only needed three pitches and forced a game-ending double play. But it would have been nice if Lester Oliveros made it through the ninth by himself.
But that's not a big complaint. Detroit won. Cleveland lost. So, believe it or not, Detroit has its biggest divisional lead of the season at 1 1/2 games. Chicago is 5 out, and Minnesota is now 7. A couple more wins in Minnesota could go a long way toward making this a three-team battle.