It's the Twins and their Auld Enemy, the Pale Hose, tonight at the Dome. Minnesota's going backwards, having lost three in a row; the Sox, on the other hand, just came off taking a series against Cleveland, and aren't that far removed from winning seven in a row last week. The Sox are two and a half back of Detroit, while the Twins are four back.
Fans might feel that Detroit's the true enemy, now - after all, to make the playoffs, Minnesota will have to catch the Tigers. It's easy to forget that they'll have to catch the White Sox, too - and given that they've played by far the fewest intradivision games of any AL Central team this year (only 26 - the Sox have already played 38), every series against a Central team is important.
REMATCH TIME! The starters from last year's Game 163 lock up again tonight.
|2009 - Nick Blackburn||7-4||17||17||3||0||0||0||116.1||120||46||38||10||28||51||2.94||1.27|
Admit it; if he doesn't throw a complete game tonight, you'll be disappointed. He's thrown three CGs on the board in his last four starts; no Twin has had more than three in a season since Brad Radke had six and Joe Mays had four in 2001.
Over the past two months, Blackburn is 5-2 with a 1.98 ERA... and that's pretty durn good.
|2009 - John Danks||7-6||16||16||0||0||0||0||95.2||86||42||40||11||32||85||3.76||1.23|
I don't know if you remember, but Danks was substantially the winner in Game 163 last year.
What's that, you say? JEEZUM CROW, JON, OF COURSE WE REMEMBER, WE TRIED POURING PAINT THINNER AND HYDROCHLORIC ACID INTO OUR BRAINS TO TRY TO FORGET THE HELPLESS, IMPOTENT FEELINGS OF WATCHING JOHN DANKS SET DOWN THE TWINS ORDER LIKE HE WAS PITCHING TO ESPECIALLY-SPASTIC LITTLE LEAGUERS?
Jeez, sorry I said anything.
Danks has a 1.51 ERA over his last five starts, and while he's just 3-2, he's allowing less than a baserunner per inning over that span. Sort of like Game 163.
(OH, NO, PUT DOWN THE ACID! PLEASE!)
| Scott Podsednik cf |
Alexei Ramirez ss
Jermaine Dye rf
Jim Thome dh
Paul Konerko 1b
A.J. Pierzynski c
Chris Getz 2b
Gordon Beckham 3b
DeWayne Wise lf
| Denard Span cf |
Brendan Harris ss
Joe Mauer c
Justin Morneau 1b
Jason Kubel dh
Michael Cuddyer rf
Joe Crede 3b
Delmon Young lf
Nick Punto 2b