September 29, 2008

Playing the wait game

"Monday is going to be the first time we are all going to be big Detroit Tigers fans. We're all going to root for them." - Twins pitcher Joe Nathan
The Twins could have won the division by winning just two games against the 4th place Royals, however the cards did not fall in the Twins favor as they lost both Friday & Saturday. Luckily, the Chicago White Sox also lost both Friday & Saturday, giving the Twins a lot of relief as they came to the Metrodome on Sunday. Both the Twins and White Sox won in do-or-die games, meaning that the White Sox will have to host the Detroit Tigers today to play game #162 which was rained out earlier this month.

The White Sox will send out Gavin Floyd to the mound, who has struggled in both his last two games, giving up a combined 9 runs in 12 innings. He will be matched up against Freddy Garcia who is making just his 3rd start since June 7th of last year. He got hit hard for 5 runs in his last start, he has a lot to play for in this game which makes it a little more interesting. Garcia was traded by the White Sox to the Phillies in December of 2006 for (ironically enough) Floyd and prized prospect Gio Gonzalez. Garcia was unhappy with the trade and felt betrayed. He is good friends with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, and is ultimately auditioning on a national stage for a contract next season. His future won't necessarily hinder on his performance tomorrow, but being that it's a big game, it definitely will help him. The Tigers have nothing to play for, however I cannot see Jim Leyland allowing any of his players to lay down for any opponent, especially one that could hinder a teams fate. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire agrees:
"I think Jimmy Leyland will want to win that game as much as anybody," Gardenhire said of the Tigers skipper. "No one wants to lay down, they'd love to be a spoiler. If you are making a team stay an extra day to play a game, I would imagine they ought to be irritated enough to take a whack at it."
The game will be at 1:05 CT today, and it will be aired both on ESPN2 and WGN.

If the White Sox win, they will face the Twins on Tuesday in the infamous "coin-flip" match which will be held at U.S. Cellular field in Chicago. If the game is necessary, the Twins will start Nick Blackburn who held the White Sox to 2 runs over 5 innings in his last start. John Danks will get the start for the White Sox, on 3 days rest, despite giving up 7 runs in 4 innings to the Indians on Friday.

It sure will be interesting if it comes down to that game, but I surely hope it doesn't have to. As much as I like seeing intense baseball, I would just like to see the Twins get the extra day off and start preparing for the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

For recaps of this weekends series, make sure to visit Seth Speaks. He has recaps for Friday, Saturday, as well as Sunday. It was definitely an interesting series, but all I have to say is "thank you Indians!"

Game Ball (9/26)
Joe Mauer - Catcher


Game Ball (9/27)
Alexi Casilla - Second Base

1-3, 2 walks, stolen base

Game Ball (9/28)
Scott Baker - Starting Pitcher

7 innings pitched, 4 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 9 K, win