There's a reason Justin Verlander is a favorite for this year's AL Cy Young award. Fastball that hits 98-99 MPH, a curve ball that makes Bert Blyleven proud, not to mention a a lot more consistency than we've seen from any Twins starter in recent years. Frankly, watching Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Drew Butera at the bottom of the order against Verlander was like watching tee ballers against a high school pitcher. The Twins had chances in the first two innings after leadoff hits by Ben Revere and Danny Valencia, but pop outs and strikeouts would end the threats. After that point, Verlander cruised to his 18th victory of the season, giving up only a single run in the top of the 8th as Justin Morneau lined a single to score Revere.
Nick Blackburn had problems keeping the ball down all night, as he gave up 11 hits and 5 runs while failing to get out of the 5th inning. It seemed like virtually all of the Detroit hits were on pitches belt high or above, a place where Blackburn simply cannot survive as a major league pitcher.
- Justin Verlander: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO. Duh.
- Ben Revere: 2-4, R. He also managed an outfield assist on a roughly 10 foot one hop throw to second that second base umpire Tom Hallion mistakenly saw beat Delmon Young to the base.
Joe Mauer: 2-3, BB. Two line drives off Verlander, too bad no one could drive him home.
- Jose Mijares: 1.0 IP, H, 0 R, BB. Not so much because he pitched well (he didn't), but because his matchup against Delmon Young in the 8th inning provided a highlight of the night. I half expected Mijares to throw a bean ball after last year's incident, but instead he got Young to fly out weakly to left.
Pretty much everyone else out there in a Twins uniform tonight.