Home sweet home! A few days back in the comforts of Dome (HA, see what I did there?) is exactly what this team needs. It'd be good to see the Twins turn around and rattle off a few wins in a row, and it can all start tonight with Francisco Liriano. He was awesome in August, even if he was a bit unstable at times, but it's hard to complain about six starts, 36.2 innings, a 1.23 ERA, 29 strikeouts and just 26 hits. His fastball keeps getting better--while peaking at 92 his last time out and averaging roughly 89.48 mph on the game (which is pretty much identical to his last start before demotion back on April 24), he's locating it better, which enables him to use his slider and improved changeup to his advantage. And with the Tigers having their share of free swingers, Liriano might be able to tally some strikeouts tonight.
Charged with keeping the Minnesota offense in check is now-familiar foe Armando Galarraga. We could talk about how good he's been in his last 10 starts, but let's just talk about how good he's been all year. In 24 starts he's allowed more than three earned runs just four times, and has gone at least seven innings in five of his last eight. So in a year that's been disappointing for the Tigers--from the state of the team to underwhelming performances from fellow starters Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman--Galarraga has been a bright spot and a glimmer of hope for next season. At just 26, the right-hander will likely be seen as a lock for Detroit's rotation in 2009. This will be his fifth start of the year against the Twins--he's 0-3 in the first four, covering 23.2 innings and allowing 15 runs on 28 hits.
|2008 - Francisco Liriano||4-3||9||9||0||0||0||0||47.0||41||21||18||2||24||36||3.45||1.38|
|2008 - Armando Galarraga||12-4||25||24||0||0||0||0||153.1||131||63||54||19||51||108||3.17||1.19|
09/05/08 8:10 PM EDT
|Detroit Tigers||Minnesota Twins|
|Curtis Granderson - CF||Denard Span - RF|
|Placido Polanco - 2B||Alexi Casilla - 2B|
|Magglio Ordonez - RF||Joe Mauer - C|
|Miguel Cabrera - 1B||Justin Morneau - 1B|
|Gary Sheffield - DH||Jason Kubel - DH|
|Marcus Thames - LF||Delmon Young - LF|
|Edgar Renteria - SS||Brian Buscher - 3B|
|Mike Hessman - 3B||Nick Punto - SS|
|Brandon Inge - C||Carlos Gomez - CF|