Tigers 5, Twins 1: Verlander'd on the 4th of July

Nothing about this looks good.

Tonight's pitching matchup seemed a little unfair from the very beginning. Justin Verlander is one of the best pitchers in the game, and he was, well...pretty good again tonight. Brian Duensing is usually able to hold his own, but after Alex Avila hit one back to the mound that hit Duensing on the ankle in the bottom of the fifth inning, he was taken out and replaced by Kyle Waldrop, who promptly walked the first two batters he saw. Thankfully Ryan Raburn hit into a double play to end the threat, but that was just the beginning of Waldrop's woes.

The pitching wasn't the only aspect of the Twins game that was lacking this evening. After a 2 1/2 hour rain delay, maybe the guys were tired, or thrown off their game, but the offense was pretty terrible and combined with the not-so-great pitching, the Twins had an overall forgettable game in Detroit.

Rest of the recap after the jump, along with notes and Studs & Duds.

Duensing was pitching well enough to keep the team in the game, and if he would have had a little more solid defense behind him, he may not have been tagged with the first two runs of the night. In the bottom of the first, a Jamey Carroll double clutch prevented a double play from being made, which allowed Ryan Raburn to reach first base. When Miguel Cabrera doubled in the next at bat, there were men on second and third with one out, and as everyone could see coming, Prince Fielder came up to knock Cabrera and Raburn in, after Span made a pretty awful attempt at a sliding catch in center field. Spotted with two runs in the first inning, Verlander went on cruise control for the rest of the game, shutting the Twins down inning after inning. Kyle Waldrop and Cole DeVries came in to replace Duensing after he was taken out, and they combined for 3.2 innings, giving up 6 hits and 3 earned runs.

The Twins managed four hits off of Verlander tonight, with a Chris Parmelee home run in the fifth inning being the only run they'd manage to score. The Tigers' ace actually held the Twins hitless until the fourth inning, until Denard Span hit a liner into center field. After that, though, the Twins looked pretty bad at the plate. Among the worst at bat tonight: Ben Revere (0-for-4), Joe Mauer (0-for-4), Josh Willingham (0-for-3, a couple of really ugly strike outs), Ryan Doumit (0-for-3), and Alexi Casilla (0-for-3). That is a very sad number of players with no hits. Jamey Carroll didn't get any hits, but he did manage to draw a walk from Verlander, and we're considering that a moral victory tonight. Span, who's always hit Verlander well, was responsible for 2 of the 4 Twins hits.

Studs
-Justin Verlander. I'm sorry, I have to do it.
-Denard Span. Two hits against Verlander. Stud status despite that pretty bad attempt at a sliding catch.
-Chris Parmelee. BOOM

Duds
-Wow...most of the lineup. Way, way too many 0-fers.
-Waldrop/DeVries. Though I feel bad listing them, as they aren't really major league pitchers, they kind of bummed me out.
-Detroit's weather. Really? Another 2+ hour rain delay? Gross.

Notes
-Miguel Cabrera was 3-for-3 tonight (2 HRs...), with 3 RBI and 1 IBB. Gross.
-Rhett Bollinger says that Duensing was diagnosed with a bruised ankle, and that x-rays were negative. Much better than hearing Duensing's ankle is broken.
-Jamey Carroll had a pretty rough night defensively. Twice, his double clutching allowed runners to be safe.
-Tonight marked Justin Verlander's 5 CG, matching a career high. Best to acknowledge when you're beat by one of the best.

Hopefully the Twins come out tomorrow ready to play. The matchup will be Scott Diamond against Rick Porcello, starting at 12:05 CST. You can watch on FSN or listen on 1500. Don't forget to go out and reserve your Parise/Suter Wild sweaters!

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