Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Spoiler Tour 2012 comes to a close this weekend for the Twins, as they have a chance to put a damper on Detroit's stretch run at Target Field.
- Friday: 7:10pm, Scott Diamond vs. Drew Smyly. TV: FSN
- Saturday: 3:05pm, P.J. Walters vs. Justin Verlander. TV: FOX Saturday Baseball
- Sunday: 1:10pm, Liam Hendriks vs. Anibal Sanchez. TV: FSN
- Give Detroit credit; they came back flying after the Twins swept them on Sunday. The Tigers swept Kansas City in KC, including a pair of 5-4 nailbiters to close out the four-game set. With the Sox losing three of four in the same span (and eight of nine overall), Detroit's gone from a game back to two games up with six to play.
- Max Scherzer will miss his scheduled start tonight; he started in Game 1 on Sunday, but shoulder fatigue claimed 4-5 mph off his fastball. Drew Smyly, who pitched in Game 2 on Sunday, will get the start instead.
- Justin Verlander's pitched only once against the Twins this year, but it was a doozy. The righty threw a complete-game four-hitter, giving up one run and striking out seven as the Tigers won 5-1 on July 4.
- The guys at Bless You Boys want to walk Joe Mauer every time he comes up so that he can't pass Miguel Cabrera in the race for the batting title.
- Josh Willingham sprained his shoulder Monday, leaping into the left-field wall, but hopes to be available for tonight's game.
- Samuel Deduno left Wednesday's start with eye irritation. He's scheduled to pitch again in the second-to-last game of the year, but if he can't go, Brian Duensing would probably get the start, and would in some ways be auditioning for next year. That said, Duensing has gone 2-8 with a 6.92 ERA as a starter this year, and should probably embrace his natural role as left-handed bullpen specialist.
- Chris Herrmann got his first major-league hit by beating out an infield single in the ninth inning on Wednesday, so if you had that in your office pool, you need to look harder at your choices in life because you are gambling on the silliest things, my friend, and you are taking bets that have some LONG odds.
- It's the last weekend at Target Field this year, bringing potential goodbyes for Matt Capps (club option, probably won't be picked up) and Alexi Casilla (arbitration eligible, surplus to requirements). We are ignoring the possibility that Denard Span and/or Justin Morneau will be traded, because we are sentimental and do not want either of these things to happen.