Nick Blackburn and Justin Verlander, the two starters on Tuesday night, were a contrast in styles, and in each performance pretty much summed up the season thus far for each respective team.
Blackburn, the Twins starter, was pounded over 4.2 innings by the Tigers, giving up 11 hits, two walks, and five runs. It was the seventh…seventh time this season that Blackburn has given up 10 or more hits in a start.
At the other end of the spectrum was Justin Verlander, who went a strong 7.2 innings enroute to his major league leading 18th win, striking out 8 and generally having his way with the Twins line up.
The Twins had an opportunity in the first inning, as the Twins got two men on and forced Verlander to throw 29 pitches, but he settled down after that, retiring 8 in a row. That streak was sandwiched by Joe Mauer singles in the third and sixth inning.
It was quite the 600 HR hangover for Minnesota, and it showed. With the loss the Twins dropped 15 games under .500, but could still win the series with a win tomorrow. After the Tigers series, they come home to meet the Yankees.
That’ll be fun.