Season Encore--Game 163: Tigers @ Twins

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First Pitch:  4:07 pm CDT
TV:  TBS
Radio:  Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy:  Bless You Boys

Left for dead, the Twins are now in the position to do what no other team in the history of baseball has done: Come back from three games down with four games to play to win the division. On the other hand, the Tigers could be the only team to choke under those circumstances. The stakes couldn't be higher.

The Dome will be full to the rafters for the fourth straight day. Like the Twins, just when you think Baggie Ball is dead, it comes crawling out of the grave to haunt the opposition, whether it be the Packers, the Tigers, or, hopefully, the Yankees. Fittingly, it's been raining here off and on for several days now, so no game 163 could be played out of doors.

Fortunately, Minnesota sports fans still have enough left in their voices to make more noise than a 747 inside of a hanger. Ear plugs and homer hankies and the whole package of Metrodome Magic will be there. Maybe the sun will come out long enough to cause Curtis Granderson to lose a fly ball in the roof, leading to the deciding run. Over 28 years under the Circus Tent, stranger things have happened. Sunday featured several of them, including Kirby Piuckett Jr. taking down the sign that said there was one game left in the season, revealing the sign that indicates zero games left. I'm still trying to figure out how there could be a game today with the number 0 hanging above the Home Run Porch.

If the Twins can play as they have over thier last 20 games, I like their chances. All hands on deck. Do or die. October baseball. Get the overflow thread ready in the third inning. Oh, one more: The Twins are 19-6 when I have had the pleasure of making the game thread and the game wrap. Hopefully their Tuesday luck will continue.

 

Starting Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Scott Baker
15-9 32 32 1 1 0 0 194.0 184 96 94 27 46 160 4.32 1.19

Baker's the Twins' ace--just the guy you want for a one-game playoff. Since May, he's been one of the top five starters in the league. The last time he faced the Tigers on Thursday, he held the cats scoreless over five innings. If he can repeat that today, the Twins should become Central Division Champs for the fifth time this decade.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Rick Porcello
14-9 30 30 2 1 0 0 165.0 172 79 74 22 50 81 4.04 1.35

Pretty good for a kid who was pitching in high school two years ago. As good as Baker has been, Porcello has been better. The last two times he's faced the Twins have been quality starts. Both games were during the Twins 16-4 run. So Twins hitters will have their work cut out for them.

Line-ups

 

TIGERS (86-76)

1. Curtis Granderson, CF
2. Placido Polanco, 2B
3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Carlos Guillen, DH
6. Ryan Raburn, LF
7. Brandon Inge, 3B
8. Gerald Laird, C
9. Ramon Santiago, SS

 

TWINS (86-76)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Jason Kubel, RF
5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
6. Delmon Young, LF
7. Jose Morales, DH
8. Matt Tolbert, 3B
9. Nick Punto, 2B



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