Tigers Take Game 2

29 Sep

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

SethSpeaks.net NIGHTLY Minnesota Twins Podcast Live Tonight at 10:00!! Listen Live! And don’t forget that I will be holding a call-in contest, with one trivia question. First person to call-in with the correct answer gets two signed Twins rookie cards. It should be a good show!

As expected, the Tigers and Justin Verlander were able to win the night game of the day-night double header. Verlander was simply incredible. For the first seven innings, he was using pinpoint control of a fastball that ranged from 97-99 mph. He also showed a great curveball, but I was most impressed by the drop and the movement of his changeup that was 14-15 mph slower than his fastball. He kept hitters off balance really until the 8th inning. Verlander threw nearly 130 pitches to get through eight innings. Here are some other notes from game two:

  • Brian Duensing just didn’t quite have it tonight. It is not unusual for Duensing, even when he was throwing well, to give up plenty of base runners. He gave up seven hits and three walks in just 4.2 innings. He just wasn’t able to get the big outs to strand runners the way he had in other opportunities.
  • I know some question the decision to go to Bobby Keppel with two outs in the 5th inning, primarily because on his first pitch, Brandon Inge singled in two more runs to make it 5-0. I think the move to Keppel is excusable for a couple of reasons. However, with Jon Rauch having thrown 40 pitches in the first game, he was not available. If Rauch was available, then it would have made sense to go to Jesse Crain that early. I can understand that move. After the single on the first pitch, Keppel was fine.
  • The Twins battled back and cut the Tigers lead to 5-4 in the top of the 8th. Then I don’t know how to justify not bringing in Jose Mijares, who had only thrown a handful of pitches in game one, to pitch the Curtis Granderson. There is a reason that Granderson was hitting 7th in the Tigers lineup… because he can’t hit lefties. It was just not a good matchup for Matt Guerrier, who was fine after the leadoff home run made it a 6-4 deficit.
  • Orlando Cabrera went 3-4 in the game.
  • Denard Span was 2-5. He added a double.
  • Jason Kubel was 2-3 with his 34th double and a sacrifice fly.
  • The bottom five hitters in the lineup combined to go 2-20 with nine strikeouts. One of the hits was the Nick Punto RBI double in the top of the 9th,that was kind of a Granderson gift.
  • Jesse Crain was impressive again with a scoreless inning. He has now not given up a run in 16 appearances, since two runs in August 22nd.
  • Jim Leyland let Justin Verlander throw 130 pitches. He has thrown a ton of pitches in the last couple of months. That’s good for the future… of the Twins! The White Sox have Jake Peavy. The Royals have Zach Greinke. The Tigers… will likely lose Verlander to injury at some point in the near future. Like some of those Marlins pitchers (see AJ Burnett) from those year, Leyland is letting his top starters rip up their arms down the stretch!
  • Hey, Twins fans, let’s not get too down with this loss. The goal coming into the series was to win at least three. Now that goal should be to win three. If there was a game that we felt would be most difficult, it was this one. So, I feel pretty good about where the Twins are still. Obviously I would prefer they would have won and been tied going into tomorrow, but I would also rather they be up by seven games and resting starters at this point. So, it will be fun again tomorrow night. It will be fun watching it and the JustinMorneau.com and JoeNathan.com outing at Champps in Richfield. Maybe see you there! Click here for details!

Feel free to leave your comments.


8 Responses to “Tigers Take Game 2”

  1. Kyle B September 30, 2009 at 5:33 am #

    Twins signed Miguel Angel Sano!

    3.15 Million bucks. MLB’s investigation about his age was ‘undetermined’.

    That’s a relief. It took the second highest bonus ever for a foreign player to get him, but… We got ’em!

  2. Bill in Sarasota September 30, 2009 at 7:11 am #

    Mijares was warning up in the 7th so he was available. The 8th had Granderson, Laird, and Everett. It was the perfect opportunity to use Mijares.
    Down by one run there was no good reason to save Mijares and use Guerrier instead considering Gardy planned to use Mijares the previous inning.

  3. TT September 30, 2009 at 7:32 am #

    “Mijares was warning up in the 7th”

    We have no way of knowing how he felt warming up. But it ought to be obvious that since he warmed up and pitched earlier in the day and had been warmed up the inning before, he might be a less than ideal choice to warm up and pitch again.

  4. mike wants wins September 30, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    Looking at the bench, it’s hard to understand how someone from AAA has not been called up to PH with some power potential. It’s a pretty sad bench right now.

  5. Johnny September 30, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    Just because Leyland lets Verlander thrown 125-130 pitches does not mean he will get hurt Seth. Some pitchers can do it, some can’t.

  6. Bill in Sarasota September 30, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    “We have no way of knowing how he felt warming up.”

    Actually one of the sportswriters could Mijares or Gardy the question.

    “But it ought to be obvious that since he warmed up and pitched earlier in the day and had been warmed up the inning before, he might be a less than ideal choice to warm up and pitch again”

    You’re stretching for a reason. Gardy took a gamble of a RHP against Granderson trying to save Mijares and it backfired. This wasn’t a normal regular season game.

    He pitched 5 pitches in the 1st game. If you’re familiar with Dr. James Andrews studies, you would know that it’s the continued pitching under stressful conditions without enough rest hurts a pitcher’s arm.

  7. Dave September 30, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    Seth, you are sooo much kinder than I am, which, if I may say so, often results in some fascinating conclusions. What makes Gardy so interesting is that he refuses to make transparently obvious decisons–Mijares to pitch to Granderson–and compounds that by making simply silly decisions–starting Gomez in game two–and ad-lipping the truly insane–a suicide squeeze! (Bringing in Keppel is so far removed from reality I have no category for that.) It’s as if he has this itch. If things are working well, heck, let’s see what happens if he mucks around. No doubt he will start Liriano again on Friday.

  8. Mighty Casey September 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm #


    getting mauled on strib blogs for being a twins/baseball fan. just wanted to say how much i appreciate your realistic view of the minnesota twins and how they figure into MLB. good or bad, you tell it how it is (without being over-dramatic!). UGH.

    to outdoor baseball, a great 3-week rally, and to outdoor baseball…

    thanks, seth.

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