Some stuff went down these past few days. Some good (Justin Verlander), some bad (Miguel Cabrera). But like Mark McGwire said, I'm not here to talk about the past.
I'm here to talk about the biggest game for the Tigers this season. They face the Twins today in Satan's Butthole (aka the Metrodome), with most people expecting the Twins to win. Well I for one think 83 games is way too many for the Metrodump and think the Tigers can make it be the last one played there.
If the Tigers do these things victory is assured:
1) Score first, preferably in the first inning. A big first inning would theoretically take the crowd out of the game and let Kid Rick focus on just pitching, not trying to win the game singlehandedly.
2) Work the pitch counts. Other than Joe Nathan, no one on the Twins is an all-world pitcher. Make them throw tons of pitches, get them tired, and drive their mistakes into the stands.
3) No free baserunners. There will be a decent number of ground balls. The Tigers can't afford to allow the turf to beat them.
4). Miguel must atone. He let his team, his fans, and his city down this weekend. A key hit or two would do a lot more for his image than a form letter apology
5) Assume Joe Nathan will be out in the 8th inning. So they need to have a lead by the 7th.
6). Hits from the bottom of the order. If the 7-8-9 hitter drive in runs, the Tigers will win.
7) Last one is a simple one. Play better baseball than the Twins. Any one team can beat the other team on any given day. The Washington Nationals won a series against the Yankees this year. It doesn't matter where the game is, top to bottom the Tigers are a better team than the Twins. If the team that showed up on Sunday shows up today...bring on the Yankees.
Thank god for DVR as I won't get out of work until 5:30, and thanks to Atlanta traffic at my house around 6:30. Regardless of what happens tonight I hope to have a playoff preview up tonight. I'm really looking forward to typing up a Tigers-Yankees preview.