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PPD: Twins @ Tigers

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UPDATE 6:45pm: We've given up for the night. Too much rain. A split doubleheader tomorrow, 11:05 and 6:05. I'm guessing FSN will televise both.

The rest of the game thread's still under the cut.

If you're not excited for tonight, you either don't care or aren't breathing. It's the series of the season, the series we'll remember.

If we're lucky, we'll see something like this, this week, and maybe it'll all end like this. (Click the links. Trust me.)

First Pitch: 6:10pm CDT
TV: FSN, MLB Network
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Bless You Boys

Probable Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Nick Blackburn 11-11 31 31 3 0 0 0 191.2 230 100 89 24 40 89 4.18 1.41

Last week, I criticized Blackburn for his bad second half; it's only fair that I now give him some credit for his stretch run. His past two starts have resulted in wins, and though he gave up eight hits in each, he didn't walk a batter in either, and only three of those sixteen hits went for extra bases (two doubles and a homer). Consequently, he allowed just two runs in the first start and none in the second.

The last time the Twins were playing this pressure-packed a game, Blackburn was on the mound in Chicago in Game 163, and he gave up just one run on four hits in 6.1 innings. This makes me confident in his ability to pitch under pressure. For the Twins to win, he'll need to continue both his recent run of form, and his apparent tendency not to buckle.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Rick Porcello 14-9 29 29 0 0 0 0 158.2 165 78 73 22 49 80 4.14 1.35

Porcello is just 20 years old, and in his first major league season, so we've got no former pressure-packed starts to compare to. The Twins beat him 3-0 two starts ago, even though Porcello went six innings and gave up just the three runs. He bounced back to beat Cleveland, giving up just one run, though he needed 94 pitches to struggle through five innings. It's probably too much to expect him to suddenly lose it; after all, over the past two months, he has a 3.38 ERA and a 5-2 record, and is averaging nearly six innings a start.

Lineups


Lineup

Minnesota Twins @ Detroit Tigers

09/28/09 6:10 PM CDT

Minnesota Twins DETROIT TIGERS
Denard Span - CF Curtis Granderson - CF
Orlando Cabrera - SS Placido Polanco - 2B
Joe Mauer - C Magglio Ordonez - RF
Jason Kubel - RF Miguel Cabrera - 1B
Michael Cuddyer - 1B Aubrey Huff - DH
Delmon Young - LF Carlos Guillen - LF
Jose Morales - DH Gerald Laird - C
Matt Tolbert - 3B Brandon Inge - 3B
Nick Punto - 2B Ramon Santiago - SS

Twins vs Tigers coverage