Today’s most important game is at 7pm when the Tigers host the Twins. The Twins sit just 2 games behind the Tigers and the two teams will play in Detroit the next four games. This gives the Twins a chance to close the gap and make the playoffs.
After this series both teams play a three game set to finish the regular season this weekend–the Twins at home against the Royals and the Tigers at home against the White Sox. Minnesota needs to take at least three of four from the Tigers to have a realistic shot heading into the weekend. Just a split sends them back home still down two and they would need a ton of help from the Sox.
Tonight’s game features Rick Porcello versus Nick Blackburn. If you are a fan of strikeouts this might not be the game for you. As I noted last week Blackburn is second to last among starters with just 4.2 K/9. Porcello is not much better, sixth from last with just 4.5 K/9. What you will see a lot of is two-seam fastballs, both throw the pitch over 60% of the time. As expected by the lack of strikeouts neither two-seamer misses many bats (Blackburn’s has a whiff rate of 6% and Porcello’s 9%). Blackburn makes up for it with excellent control, only walking 1.9 per 9 (tenth best in the league), Porcello with extreme ground ball tendencies, 55% GB per BIP (fifth best in the league).
So enjoy tongith’s game, one of the most important of the regular season for both teams, and expect to see a lot of balls in play.