Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tigers Drop Opener to Twins

The Tigers played tonight's game as if it was in the Metrodome.  The Twins scored the first run of the game in the sixth on a walk and a dropped fly ball by Ryan Raburn.  They scored the second run of the game in the seventh on two walks a balk, an infield hit into the shift by Jim Thome and a throwing error by Scott Sizemore.  It would be less painful if Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau did the damage but they actually went zero for eight with four strikeouts.  That's the way it goes with the Tigers play the Twins.

But when the final score is 2-0, you know the real story of the game was pitching.  Francisco Liriano pitched eight shutout innings allowing just four hits and striking out 10 Tigers along the way.  After spending three years battling to come back from Tommy John surgery, Liriano is once again pitching like an ace with an 0.93 ERA in four starts.  It's going to be really hard to stop the Twins if he keeps this up.

Justin Verlander may have pitched his best game of the season tonight but was still inefficient.  He allowed just one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings but took 121 pitches to do it. He walk three batters and went to a bunch of three-ball counts.  He still has only pitched six innings once this year.  He did strikeout seven though and was pretty tough to hit tonight so it was a pretty positive outing. 

Game two is tomorrow night with Max Scherzer facing Scott Baker. 

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