The Twins need a win this afternoon to avoid being swept at home by the Detroit Tigers. Minnesota will send P.J. Walters (2.95 ERA) to the hill to face off against Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and the rest of the suddenly smashing Detroit lineup. The Tigers counter with Rick Porcello (5.29 ERA) who has managed to completely baffle both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau throughout their careers. Mauer and Morneau COMBINED are hitting just 7/37. The good news is that 5 of those 7 hits are for extra bases, so if they can get wood on the ball, they should be in good shape.
Tough to know for sure which version of the Twins we will see today. They were playing solid fundamental baseball for about 10 days, and then the wheels fell off in Chicago and they have not been the same since. Baseball is fun to watch when it is plated the right way, and it is agonizing when done poorly.
Ron Gardenhire mentioned on 1500ESPN this morning that the Twins would be bringing up another pitcher after this series. They’re looking for another relief arm to replace Francisco Liriano‘s spot in the bullpen. Shortly thereafter the Twins tweeted that they’ll be calling up Jeff Manship to replace Erik Komatsu who has been DFA’d for release or assignment. This is an interesting move for the Twins as Komatsu (claimed off waivers from St. Louis) was the Cardinal’s Rule 5 Draft Selection from the Nationals so if no other team puts in a claim on him he’ll either need to be returned to Washington or the Twins will need to work out a trade to keep him in their system.
Here are the lineups:
|Berry, CF||Span, CF|
|Dirks, LF||Revere, RF|
|Cabrera, Mi, 3B||Mauer, C|
|Fielder, 1B||Willingham, LF|
|Boesch, DH||Morneau, 1B|
|Avila, C||Doumit, DH|
|Peralta, Jh, SS||Plouffe, 3B|
|Kelly, RF||Casilla, A, 2B|
|Raburn, 2B||Carroll, SS|
|_Porcello, P||_Walters, P|
And just like that, Detroit sweeps Minnesota.
The Twins took a lead into the top of the 9th inning and then Miguel Cabrera took a hanging Matt Capps breaking ball to deep center field to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. The top of the Twins order couldn’t scrape a run together in the bottom of the 9th and that was the ballgame.
Despite the loss the Twins again received a quality start from P.J. Walters, giving the Twins 6 innings and giving up just 2 runs (both in the first inning). Alexi Casilla had a nice game for the Twins as well, going 3 for 3 with a walk, a stolen base and an RBI.
Have a happy Memorial Day tomorrow, everyone.