the spine-tingling horror of nearly losing to the Twins


photo by Samara Pearlstein

I think it’s actually worse right now, with the Twins suffering so much in the standings. I don’t like seeing the Tigers lose to the Twins normally, because they’re the Twins and this is the AL Central (although stronger negative feelings will always be reserved for Whichever Team is Currently Employing AJ Pierzynski, So Long As That Team is in The Central), Game 163 is still a sore point, etc. But these are not normal times for the Twins, who are currently a whole bunch of games behind the Royals in the standings.

So the prospect of losing to them is even MORE terrible than usual, because it’s not just losing to the Twins, it’s losing to this absurdly bad parody of the Twins we know and love to dislike.

When Justin Morneau homered in the 7th inning to put Minnesota up… holy cats. What a terrible feeling. The more I thought about the possibility of losing to the Twins– THESE Twins– the worse I felt. I know the Tigers have been streaky all season long, but how bad do you have to be to let these particular awful Twinkies come back on you and win a ballgame that you were already leading? Seriously think about that. It makes me a little bit physically ill to contemplate it, which probably says more about me and my unhealthy relationship with baseball than anything else, but you know, whatever.

And Scherzer! What the heck is up with him? Last time out he was so bad that we had to blame his evil twin, and this time around he allows Morneau to go yard twice, he uncorks a couple of wild pitches, he gives up 7 runs in 6.2 innings, he lets the freakin’ Cuddler steal a base off of him… I mean, really. Bad feelings piled on top of bad feelings.

Leyland must have been napping when he let Scherzer face Morneau, but at least he woke up enough to put Charlie Furbush in to face Jim Thome. Maybe all the yelling from the Morneau homer disturbed his slumber. In any event, Furbush put Thome away, the Tigers small-balled up runs in the 7th and 8th, and all’s well that ends well…. I guess.

There IS something depressing in the fact that the Tigers have only barely won the first two games of the series, and only pulled out the first one with the help of a controversial-at-best call on a ball that bounced through the stands. Shouldn’t these be blowouts? I’d be more comfortable if Detroit was treating the Twins like the rest of the league has, i.e. ruthlessly exposing their weaknesses one by one and then smashing any remaining Minnesotan confidence to teeny tiny Will-Rhymes-sized bits. Instead the Tigers are playing them close and giving them all sorts of chances to win. Scary.

8 responses to “the spine-tingling horror of nearly losing to the Twins

  1. Thoughts on the ‘let Max sort himself out in Toledo’ cries that have started to sound?

    • ivantopumpyouup

      I don’t know about that. Last year, he was pretty much awful in all of his starts (save one) until he got sent to Toledo. This year, he was good and then he was bad and then he was awful. I think it’s more a case of getting back to what was making him successful at the beginning of the season.

      Last year, he had that flaw in his mechanics he needed to fix. I don’t think that’s his problem this time, because the messed up arm slot depressed his velocity; he’s been hitting 95-97mph regularly. I think may be as simple as working on command, which would help with the walks and the homeruns too.

      • I get what you’re saying, but if it’s a matter of letting him work his way back to success, why should he do that at the big league level and screw with games that matter? Wouldn’t AAA be a safer place for him to work out his issues, be they mechanical or otherwise?

        I’m a little scared if it’s not just a mechanical issue… with a mechanical issue there’s a (theoretically) simple fix, just fix the mechanics. To say he has to ‘work on command’, what does that mean? If there isn’t a simple fix, it might actually take him longer to get a handle on it than a mechanics issue, which you’d hope could be diagnosed by analyzing video. Maybe he just needs to ‘get his feel back’ and it’s one of those random things that will suddenly happen.

        I think the main argument is… if you send Max down, who do you bring up, and not screw up their development while we’re at it?

        • just some guy

          If we don’t have anyone we can bring up in his place though you have to leave him in the rotation. I mean who would it be? Oliver is already up, Furbush is in the bullpen, I thought we wanted Turner to marinate longer or whatever. Even if his problems COULD be worked out better in Toledo I think you have to keep Max up just because there’s nothing better and ready to take his place. At least this way if he does work it out quickly, we haven’t been careless and screwed up some raw prospect to get his head back on straight.

  2. ivantopumpyouup

    The Tigers still mistakenly think the Twins are the best team in the AL Central, I guess.

  3. No more Morneau Homers!! Take note Tigers pitching!!!

  4. 1987: 12-0 in reg. season; 1-3 in ALCS. I can’t let it go.

  5. Actually, my strongest negative feelings are usually reserved for whichever team in the Central is currently employing Jim Thome.

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