Minnesota went into the first game of a doubleheader with a two-game
lead over Detroit. A first game 3-2 win, in 10 innings, put the Twins
right at the front door. They were knocking. The Twins wanted in.
Detroit had other plans, and pitching ace Justin Verlander figured
prominently in those plans. Behind a season high 129 pitches, Verlander
secured his 18th win of the year, 6-5. The victory pushed Minnesota
back toward the steps of the front porch. The Tigers regained their
two-game lead in the Central, and the magic number is now at four. At
least for now, the Twins can not touch the door.
Tonight’s game is equally big. Jim Leyland will give the ball to Eddie
Bonine. He is 0-1 with a 4.60 ERA, and a 1.47 WHIP. He will face Carl
Pavano, who has a 13-11 record, 4.86 ERA, and a 1.35 WHIP.
Bonine pitched brilliantly on Friday night against the Chicago White
Sox. Can he duplicate that performance tonight? The stakes are higher,
much higher than they were four days ago. My biggest concern is whether
he will be able to hold it together long enough while a struggling
offense gets geared up.
On the other hand, Carl Pavano has been masterful against the Detroit
Tigers. This season, he boasts a 4-0 record against Detroit. He has
only allowed 7 earned runs. Will he continue to dominate Detroit in a
place where the Tigers typically rule?
Once again, exciting and meaningful baseball is being played in
Detroit. Biting your nails, pacing, and heart palpitations are a part
of this. Those are the symptoms of pennant fever. It is what we asked
for, it is what we welcome.
Under other circumstances, we would cringe. But, not so tonight.