After last night's well-deserved victory, the Twins increased the spread between themselves and the Detroit Tigers to five and a half games. Combine that with another White Sox loss (leaving the Twins just a game and a half out), and it's been a fantastic last couple of days. The primary concern leading into the All-Star break, and specifically for tonight, is how to deal with Carlos Gomez. Gomez's three strikeouts last night are a concern, but more than that it's his continuing aggression and lack of discipline at the plate. His struggles haven't kept the Twins from winning over the last three weeks, but he definitely hasn't been contributing to the victories, either.
With Scott Baker taking the mound this afternoon for the Twins, there has to be a lot of confidence on the field. He's been a juggernaut of effective hurling in recent memory. In fact, since his return from the disabled list he has thrown 43 innings in seven starts, striking out 35 and walking nine with a 2.72 ERA. He was lights out in his last start in Boston, but sadly his offense wasn't able to back him up. This afternoon, you know they'll be gunning for support. Baker's faced the Tigers three times this season, including the game that was cut short due to his injury. In those starts he's combined for 16 innings, 13 hits, six runs, four homers, just two walks and ten strikeouts.
Taking the opposite hill will be Nate Robertson. He's been a bit of an off-and-on pitcher most of the year, peaking in his last start as he threw a complete game in Seattle. Over the years the Twins have seen quite a bit of this lefty, and already a trio of times this year alone. Minnesota's largely taken care of business, as in 16.2 innings he's allowed 24 hits and 13 runs, uncluding three bombs, five free passes and 12 strikeouts.
Projected Lineup: Gomez, Casilla, Redmond, Morneau, Monroe, Young, Harris, Punto, Span
07/12/08 3:55 PM EDT
|Minnesota Twins||Detroit Tigers|
|Carlos Gomez - CF||Curtis Granderson - CF|
|Alexi Casilla - 2B||Placido Polanco - 2B|
|Joe Mauer - C||Carlos Guillen - 3B|
|Justin Morneau - 1B||Miguel Cabrera - 1B|
|Craig Monroe - DH||Matt Joyce - RF|
|Delmon Young - LF||Marcus Thames - LF|
|Brian Buscher - 3B||Gary Sheffield - DH|
|Brendan Harris - SS||Brandon Inge - C|
|Denard Span - RF||Ramon Santiago - SS|
|2008 - Nate Robertson||6-7||18||18||0||0||0||0||109.1||133||64||63||13||32||70||5.19||1.51|
|2008 - Scott Baker||5-2||13||13||0||0||0||0||76.0||76||28||28||11||14||64||3.32||1.18|