Tag Archives: twins

How Was The Game? (September 25, 2013)

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Covered in champagne. 

Tigers 1, Twins 0 (Magic # = 0)

Max Scherzer (32 GS, 214.1 IP, 2.90 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 6.4 WAR) fittingly took the mound in game 159 of the 2013 season, which was the game in which the Tigers locked up their third straight American League Central title. Torii Hunter drove in Austin Jackson in the first and that would be all the Tigers would need as one of their aces provided an excellent closing argument for his Cy Young campaign with 7 innings of 2 hit, 0 run baseball that featured 6 walks, but also 10 strikeouts. He was a bit wild at two different points, but otherwise he overpowered the Twins en route to a champagne shower in the clubhouse. Presumably, the Tigers will still play the final three games of the season in Miami this weekend, but their ticket is punched and they will almost certainly head to Oakland starting a week from Friday. The only thing that stands in their way is a three game set with the Marlins in which Rick Porcello (29 GS, 174.2 IP, 4.38 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 3.0 WAR) will begin on the mound. Check back shortly for our thoughts on the division title.

The Moment: Benoit punches out Willingham to clinch the AL Central.

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How Was The Game? (September 24, 2013)

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A prelude to curly fries and champagne.

Tigers 4, Twins 2 (Magic # =1)

Doug Fister (32 GS, 207.2 IP, 3.68 ERA, 3.27 FIP, 4.5 WAR) turned in a fine performance in his last start of the regular season, holding the Twins to 2 runs in 6.1 innings to go with 7 strikeouts and just one walk. He left with the lead – a lead the bullpen held – thanks to a 4 run 4th inning that featured 3-HR from the Martinez, Infante, and Jackson. A night after giving one away, the Tigers slammed the door on the Twins and cut their magic number to one with Max Scherzer (31 GS, 207.1 IP, 3.00 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 6.2 WAR) in line to start the clincher on Wednesday during his final start of the season.

The Moment: Jackson sends one into the bullpen to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

How Was The Game? (September 23, 2013)

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A little longer than it needed to be.

Twins 4, Tigers 3 (Magic # = 2)

Justin Verlander (33 GS, 212.1 IP, 3.56 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 4.9 WAR) is toying with us. Just when you think you’re ready to move on and name someone else the Game One starter, he hangs 12 strikeouts on the Twins in 6 shutout innings in his penultimate start of the season. He had it all working and had little trouble pitching around the baserunners he did allow. On the other side, Hunter doubled in a run in the 5th and Cabrera and Martinez each knocked in a run in the 7th to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead, but the bullpen gave them all back and eventually surrendered the winning run in extra innings. The loss holds the magic number at two but they’ll still look to lock up their third straight AL Central crown (pending an Indians loss) with Doug Fister (31 GS, 201.1 IP, 3.71 ERA, 3.27 FIP, 4.3 WAR) making his final regular season start on Tuesday.

The Moment: Verlander fans 12 Twins in 6 innings.

How Was The Game? (August 21, 2013)

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The bats came late, but were worth the wait.

Tigers 7, Twins 1

Anibal Sanchez (22 GS, 139.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, 2.34 FIP, 4.8 WAR) did his job with the usual magnificence as he gave the Tigers 6.2 innings of 1 run baseball featuring 8 strikeouts and 2 walks. He pitched in a bit of traffic early but escaped with ease and then got rolling in the middle innings before handing it off to the capable hands of Drew Smyly. Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the 7th, the Tigers bats got rolling and chased Correia after scoring two runs and placing two more on base. Then, of course, Fielder swung and missed at strike three but got to first on the passed ball while Hunter scored. Get all that? Martinez doubled to add another and then the Tigers piled on in the 8th when Cabrera cleared the bases. The Tigers will do their best to take the series Thursday afternoon with the resurgent Justin Verlander (26 GS, 166.2 IP, 3.51 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 3.6 WAR) on the hill.

The Moment: Hunter puts one up the gap to drive in the tying and go-ahead run.

How Was The Game? (August 20, 2013)

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Nothing worth writing home about.

Twins 6, Tigers 3

Rick Porcello (23 GS, 135.1 IP, 4.52 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 2.5 WAR) did some good things on Tuesday, but three infield hits and two poorly timed pitches cost him 5 runs in 4.1 innings despite 6 strikeouts and only 2 walks. Those things will happen when you induce a lot of ground balls and while you don’t love the result – especially Coke’s inability to get a lefty out – the process was mostly solid for Porcello who continues to be head and shoulders about baseball’s other #5 starters. The bats were able to score on a Fielder bomb and pushed across two other runs but failed to cash in with the tying run at the plate in the 8th inning. They had another shot in the 9th, with Cabrera at the dish no less but couldn’t make it happen. The Tigers have two more chances to get to the Twins this week and will turn around and give the ball to Anibal Sanchez (21 GS, 133 IP, 2.50 ERA, 2.39 FIP, 4.5 WAR) on Wednesday.

The Moment: Prince hits one a mile.

The Morning Edition (August 7, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Harper homers off Teheran and gets a fastball in his leg the next time out, Nats lose
  • The Twins rock Shields, Albers nearly goes the distance in his debut
  • Latos superb as Reds top the A’s
  • Josh Harrison walks off against the Marlins

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Colon and Bailey face off at GABP (1230p Eastern)
  • Medlen takes on Zimmermann (7p Eastern)
  • Matt Harvey Day! (7p Eastern)
  • Shelby Miller faces the Dodgers (8p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Thoughts on the Harper/Teheran dustup?

You know I’m always coming down against the guy throwing the ball at the batter, but a couple of points should be made. If Teheran hit him on purpose, at least he kept it down in an area that wasn’t dangerous. So good on him for not being Weaver. Second, it’s childish to throw at a guy for homering off you, even if he did watch it a little too long. This isn’t the middle ages, you don’t duel someone over your honor. Shake it off. You threw the meatball, you have to watch him strut. I don’t like when players hot dog it around the bases but you shouldn’t throw at them for it and Harper just admired it and then got moving. It might not have been intentional, but if it was, that’s my take.

The Morning Edition (July 26, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Buehrle gets a 2 H, 2 BB, CGSO against the Astros
  • Marlins win as Eovaldi and Nicasio combine for 13 shutout innings, but neither factor in the decision as both teams score late
  • Kuroda goes 7 scoreless to lead the Yanks past Holland and the Rangers
  • The Nationals cough one up to the Pirates, but Harper rallies back to walk off

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Jordan Zimmerman welcomes the Mets in Game 1, Harvey goes in Game 2 (130p/7p Eastern)
  • Newly minted ground ball machince John Lackey takes on the O’s (7p Eastern)
  • Wainwright faces Minor in ATL (7p Eastern)
  • Homer Bailey meets Clayton Kershaw (10p Eastern)
  • Felix gets the Twins (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • What’s a good sign a player’s breakout is real?

Edwin Encarnacion has really improved his stock in the last couple of seasons with the power, but the K% is coming down really nicely. There aren’t many big power bats who don’t strikeout more often than this:

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The Morning Edition (July 25, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Strasburg goes 8, allows 1 R on 2 H/0 BB/12 K, but loses despite a 4-2 final score…yeah…think about that…#KillTheWin
  • Price goes the distance on 97 pitches to lead the Rays over the Sox
  • Santana pitches well, but the Royals need a walk off to beat the O’s
  • Garza is superb in his Rangers debut, beats the Yanks 3-1
  • Braves beat the Mets but lose Hudson to a broken ankle
  • Dodgers get 5 in the 10th to beat the Jays
  • Kamzir helps the Indians pummel the M’s
  • The Angels blank the Twins, 1-0

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Wood and Wheeler in NY (1230p Eastern)
  • Burnett faces Gio (1230p Eastern)
  • Kuroda takes on Holland (2p Eastern)
  • Latos goes against Greinke (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Are the Royals even a self-aware entity at this point?

Apparently, the Royals who are 47-51, 8 GB, and have no reason to expect they will play better, are considering buying at the deadline despite it being a seller’s market. Additionally, they are considering upgrading in right field. I wonder if the Rays would part with Wil Myers? I legitimately feel pain for Royals fans. This is embarrassing.

The Morning Edition (July 22, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Harvey dominates the Phils over 7 innings, allows 3 H and 10 K as Lee struggles
  • Masterson flirts with a no-hitter in a 7-1 win over the Twins
  • Giants waste a great start from Bumgarner
  • Colon drops a CGSO on the Angels
  • Wainwright’s 8 strong innings lead the Cards over the Padres
  • Felix turns in 6 solid inning as the Mariners thrash the Astros
  • Peralta and Alvarez throw gems, but it takes a Gindl walk off in the 13th to finalize the Crew and Fish
  • Kershaw throws well, Zimmermann gets rocked in Dodgers win at Nats
  • Bailey K’s 12 but the Reds fall to the Bucs
  • Rays win…again

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Darvish comes to Yankee Stadium (7p Eastern)
  • Scherzer and Sale (8p Eastern)
  • Garza showcase continues against Skaggs in AZ (930p Eastern)
  • Lincecum returns to the mound for the first time since his no-hitter (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Should the Rays scare you?

The answer is yes under certain conditions. First, if you cheer for the Rays, no the Rays should not scare you. Also, if you’re team is wildly out of the race, then you should just enjoy baseball and not sweat the standings. But everyone else should be worried because the Rays are dangerous. They probably won’t sustain a 17-2 pace for the rest of the season but they are putting the East on notice. On May 7th, the Rays were 14-18 and looked like they weren’t going to be able to provide their usually excellent starting pitching. Since then, they are 44-23, which is a 106 win pace. This is a good team that just had their rough stretch early, which is often a nice way to lull your opponents into a false sense of security. I picked the Rays to win the East and haven’t wavered. They are baseball’s 3rd best offense and 11th best pitching staff and have one of baseball’s best managers and easily the best GM. This is a team that should scare you. They have one of the game’s best in Longoria, an excellent super utility guy in Zobrist, the underrated Jennings, the young Myers, and the lightning in a bottle Loney. Not to mention the pitching is back. They Rays are hot and are only going to cool off a little.

The Morning Edition (July 21, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Mariners become the first team to ever score 4+ runs while getting just one hit as they beat the Astros in a game in which Bedard left the game without allowing a hit after 6.1 IP
  • Indians waste a solid start by Kluber, fall to the Twins
  • Kuroda shuts down the Sox, Yanks edge past Lackey
  • Rays stay hot against the Jays
  • Greinke and Gio pitch great, but the Nats take it in 10

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Lee, Harvey…Oswald? at Citi Field (1p Eastern)
  • Kershaw takes on Zimmermann in DC (130p Eastern)
  • Felix goes to Houston, strikeout warning in effect (2p Eastern)
  • Wainwright goes against the Padres (2p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Who’s regretting the offseason now?

Something I noticed last night was that 11:25pm, the Blue Jays, Royals, and Angels (the 3 AL teams that made big moves this offseason) all have the same number of wins as the Mariners. All at 45. The lesson here is that big moves don’t make a good team. I’m not knocking what the Blue Jays did, but the Angels and Royals made poor moves. To recap, the Angels gave $125 million to Josh Hamilton (which is risky in itself) instead of doing anything to improve their pitching staff and the Royals traded away a great young hitter for a starting pitcher who can’t help the team win because they don’t score any runs. Even if Shields and Myers were a good swap in terms of dollars and value, it certainly didn’t make sense to trade from a weakness to get more pitching when that new pitching was only enough to make you a .500 team. Setting that aside, my point is that the national media latched onto the big moves and called these teams the big winners in the offseason. That was silly. You have to look at the whole picture and the whole picture almost always favors the club that adds complimentary pieces instead of big names. The media chases stories, MLB teams should chase wins. Remember that next time you’re reading offseason winners and losers. Texas “had a terrible offseason” if you listened to the writers. Funny how that works out.

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