Tonight's game was a combination of frustration and joy, as the Twins managed to win just their second series since the All-Star Break in July. That the series was on the road, against a tough divisional opponent, was really just icing on the cake.
Full recap, notes, and stud & duds after the jump.
For the most part, Carl Pavano was solid enough for the Twins tonight. He went 7 innings, giving up 9 hits, 3 ER, and striking out 4. He walked 2, and one of the hits he gave up was a solo shot to Jhonny Peralta in the 6th inning. The bullpen tried to make things interesting, with Glen Perkins giving up a hit and walking two batters to load the bases with no outs in the 8th inning. Perkins has been used a lot this year, and before this month, has been extremely effective. What we're seeing now might be considered something along the lines of "Matt Guerrier Diease", with Perk being used just too much. Matt Capps came on in relief of Perk and actually managed to only allow the Tigers to score one run. It was impressive, and we don't get to say that about Capps often, so enjoy it while you can. Joe Nathan went in to close out the game in the 9th inning, and after a little stress, couple hits, and one earned run, he managed to end the game and secure the Twins a series win in Detroit.
The Twins' offense tonight was pretty decent. Though Brad Penny only gave up 5 hits to Twins batters, two of those hits were home runs, combining for the 3 ER he had on the evening. Jim Thome mashed his 601st tater in the second inning, and Rene Tosoni, French Resistance Fighter Extraordinaire, hit his third home run of the year in the 7th inning. The Tigers' bullpen would surrender the rest of the runs in the 8th and 9th innings, with Thome knocking in another run, and Justin Morneau hitting a bases-loaded double in the 9th to put the Twins ahead. Overall, it was a nice performance from the offense, even with some of the frustrating RISP fails (this is the only time I will mention the fact that Tsuyoshi Nishioka attempted to bunt with two outs, bases loaded, and Justin Morneau on third base. Anger).
Defensively the Twins tonight were as enjoyable as they were frustrating. Ben Revere made two VERY nice catches in the outfield to rob Delmon Young of extra-base hits. Nishioka continued his frustrating play, and committed what should have been an error but was ruled a hit. Jason Kubel, PROFESSIONAL HITTER, had a nice outfield assist to catch Brennan Boesch at home plate. With all of the Tigers players LOB for the night, the defense (and pitching) was certainly doing enough right to get the win.
-Jim Thome. The guy is just a Tiger killer. Ridiculous.
-Ben Revere. Some nice catches in the OF, and we'll look past the CS issue.
-Rene Tosoni. 2-run bomb? 2-run bomb. We'll take it, monsieur.
-Justin Morneau. Had a pretty decent night at the plate.
-Jason Kubel. He's not doing well with the PROFESSIONAL HITTER part of his title right now.
-Glen Perkins. Yikes. Give the man some rest or something.
-Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Just...ouch.
You're Not a Stud, But Not Really a Dud Either
-Matt Tolbert, and by extension, Drew Butera. Jim Thome was lifted for PR Matt Tolbert in the 7th inning. Jim Thome was the DH tonight, meaning Matt Tolbert was the new DH. Tolbert came to the plate with the bases loaded, and if you recall, he can't even swing the bat due to a wrist problem right now. Apparently, Drew Butera is so bad that Matt Tolbert's weak wrist is a better option in this situation. Mind blown.
-Carl Pavano. Enough to keep the team in the game, but not his sharpest outing.
-Matt Capps. Allowed one ER, but kept the damage to a minimum.
-With his hit in the 7th inning, Miguel Cabrera is on a 15 game hitting streak. Woo.
-Michael Cuddyer will have an MRI tomorrow to make sure his neck isn't a serious concern. Fingers crossed.
-Jason Kubel has an unknown family emergency in California and won't be with the team tomorrow. In his place will be Luke Hughes.