It was a wild game that the Tigers had plenty of chances to win but in the end they couldn't beat the evil combination of Joe Crede and the Metrodome. Tiger killer Crede used to slay the Tigers as a White Sock. Tonight, he hit a walk off grandslam as a Twin. The Twins win 14-10 in 13 innings. Here are some notes:
The reason Brandon Lyon pitched the final three innings tonight was because the only two relievers left were Ryan Perry (who threw 42 pitches yesterday) and Nate Robertson who I just learned is injured. I don't know the nature or extent of the injury but Lucas French will apparently be called up from Toledo to take his place.
The Tigers went ahead in the top of the 13th when Curtis Granderson tripled and scored on a balk. Grandy bluffed a steal of home momentarily freezing Twins reliever Jesse Crain and causing the balk.
Dontrelle Willis made his return to the majors and got tagged for four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. it wasn't a good performance but he did look better than last year. After throwing in the high 80s in many games last year, it was encouraging to see him throw in the mid 90s several times tonight. He also threw strikes at a more reasonable rate - 53 out of 87 pitches and just two walks. Still, the results were not very good.
Jeff Larish got a start against the left-hander Glen Perkins. He did get a home run in the four run seventh but that was against right-hander Matt Guerrier. He also received two walks in the game. Clete Thomas also got another start tonight and went one for six. Larish and Thomas seem to be winning the battle for playing time over Josh Anderson who has done very well as a role player. It could be that with Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez slumping (declining?) badly this year that Jim Leyland is looking for guys with more upside than Anderson who could take over as regulars.
Brandon Inge broke out of a 3 for 25 slump with three hits including a homer.
Miguel Cabrera had just one hit tonight - a three run homer in the seventh which put the Tigers ahead 9-7 at the time. He also walked twice as the Twins pitchers worked him very carefully.
Joel Zumaya relieved Bobby Seay in the seventh with one out and a 1-2 count. That was a very unusual move but it did not appear to be precipitated by an injury. He got through the seventh but allowed a game tying two run pinch hit homer to Jason Kubel in the eighth. Those were the first runs of the year allowed by Zoom.
Leyland was booted from the game after debating with the umpires over an odd situation involving Magglio Ordonez. Magglio was called out on strikes in the seventh and protested the call. Homeplate umpire Paul Schrieber put his arm on his back and tried to direct him towards the dugout. That's something I've never seen before and Leyland had a right to be upset.