The Twins had a golden opportunity to reduce the AL Central deficit to just 1 game, but the bats fell asleep and Nate Robertson (seriously, Nate Robertson?) got the win to boost the Tigers’ lead back to 3 games, with 15 games remaining. Robertson has a 4.35 FIP on the year and has walked nearly as many hitters as he has struck out, yet the Twins couldn’t get anything going as Robertson ended three Minnesota innings with runners on with three strikeouts. He struck out Denard Span three times in the game. Placido Polanco, my new least favorite human being alive, much less least favorite baseball player, had 3 RBI to pace the Tigers. Michael Cuddyer had two fly balls that were each 10 feet or so from leaving the park, but both times left runners in scoring position in big spots.
Scott Baker started off strong, but a 3 run 5th inning ruined his day, as he only lasted 4.2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits. He did strike out 5 Tigers tough. Really the only bright spot was Joe Mauer, who went 2-4 on the day to increase his lead in the batting race. He also kept his chances for hitting .400 alive. According to David Pinto at Baseball Musings, Mauer now has a 1 in 1.4 million shot at hitting .400, and will need to hit about .667 to reach the mark last set by Ted Williams.
The Twins next travel to Chicago to take on the White Sox. The Twins haven’t faired well in Chicago the past couple of years, but they need to scramble for a starter for the first game of the series, and Gavin Floyd is reportedly unable to go due to injury, setting up an advantage for the Twins. Beating the Sox and Royals will be key, as well as the 4 game set in Detroit.
Today’s Playoff Odds: 21.4%