Nobody, and I mean not one single person, expected the Tigers to win a series in the Metrodome this weekend against the Hometown 9... I wouldn't even have been surprised if the Tigers themselves had some doubts about coming in and beating the hottest team in baseball.
But OH MY GOODNESS...
Look, I knew the Tigers were good, anyone can tell by their record that they are good, but I haven't had much chance to see them play this year. I've heard that they are scrappy, that they find all kinds of ways to win. But these guys are unreal! You cannot make a mistake against Detroit, or it will cost you dearly.
Just ask Brad Radke. No stranger to getting knocked around in the first or second innings, Radke looked like a little leaguer last night. You throw anybody on the Tigers a hitable pitch (and Radke threw PLENTY of hitable pitches) and guess what... well, just have a look at the play-by-play for the top of the first inning...
Brad Radke pitching for Minnesota
C Granderson singled to left. 0 0
P Polanco singled to center, C Granderson to second. 0 0
C Monroe singled to left, C Granderson to third, P Polanco to second. 0 0
M Ordonez grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, C Granderson scored, C Monroe out at second, P Polanco to third. 1 0
C Guillen grounded into fielder's choice to first, P Polanco scored, M Ordonez out at second. 2 0
D Young singled to right, C Guillen to second. 2 0
M Thames flied out to left. 2 0
2 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors
Detroit then proceeded to add one in the second, and one in the third, and that was that for Brad Radke. (Here's a fun little stat, courtesy of ESPN.com: "Opponents are hitting .390 off Radke in the first inning this season.")
Of course we know, the Twins battled back, but ended up falling short and the Tigers won 8-6.
Let me go ahead and say that nothing anybody has said about the Twins in the past week has been wrong. They HAVE been the hottest team in baseball, they HAVE been doing everything right, the offense HAS come around and the pitching HAS been better than it was earlier in the season. None of this changed on Friday or Saturday night. Outside of Radke's poor performance, the Twins did almost everything right, but the Tigers are just a better baseball team.
If anybody is suggesting that the Twins are going to catch the Tigers... well, then I just don't think those people have actually seen the Tigers play. (My apologies to Jeffrick after reading his Twins fever post... I will guess that his opinion has changed slightly too.) Of course their W-L record is incredible for this time of year (70-33, 37 GAMES OVER .500?!?!?! HOLY SH*#!!!), but the difference with them is that offensively Detroit's execution is almost flawless. Sacrifice flies, moving runners into scoring position, baserunning, stealing, they do it all, and they do it all well. Not to mention the fact that they hit for average and they hit for power all over their lineup. The Twins are a very good ball club right now, but there just simply is nobody in baseball that comes close to the Tigers.
With the Twins sweeping the Sox earlier this week in Chicago, and now Detroit banging the first two out against the Twins at the Dome, we really have an opportunity to see who the front-runner is in the Central. If everyone in the AL Central continues to play like they have the last two weeks, then all will be right with the world. Detroit will win the division, the Twins will end up second, and the White Sox will fall away quietly. The only question left is what happens with the Yankees and the AL Wild Card.
I think I speak for us all when I say...
I cheer for the Twins, and whoever is playing the Yankees.
Gleeman and The Geek #337: Wild Card Postgame Show
6 months ago