June 29, 2007

A Key Series...

Tonight, the Twins will kick off a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers. This series, will be probably their biggest of the season. Through yesterday, the Twins are six games back in the division, and with a sweep could cut that in half. In addition to that, even a series win could give them some momentum up until the All-Star Break and even after that.

In this series, the Twins will face arguably three of the Tiger's best pitchers. On the other hand, the Twins will send out their Cy-Young winner Johan Santana and then two very inexperienced pitchers.

Below is a series preview including the pitching match ups along with some of the offensive players and notes.

Friday, June 29
Johan Santana vs. Justin Verlander

This game should be the best, and most exiting game to watch. Two of the best pitchers in the league will square off, and both offenses should have low scoring nights. If the Twins give Johan some run support, it should be a good night for the Twins as Johan has gotten better since June started.

Game Time: 6:05 PM
TV Station: FSN North

Saturday, June 30
Kevin Slowey vs. Andrew Miller

While the first game of the series will feature both team's aces and two of the best pitchers in the league, the second game will feature two of the team's top prospects. Depending on what version of each Slowey or Miller show up, it could be a low or high scoring game. Each pitcher has had their struggles, but neither have really ever been horrible at any point.

Game Time: 2:55 PM
TV Station: FOX

Sunday, July 1
Scott Baker vs. Jeremy Bonderman

The final game of the series will definitely favor the Tigers. The Twins will send out a very inconsistent Scott Baker, while the Tigers will send out a very good pitcher in Bonderman. While Baker has had his share of great games this season, he's also had his share of terrible ones. One thing that may be in the Twins advantage is the fact that the Twins have had good success against Bonderman in Sunday games.

Game Time: 7:05 PM
TV Station: ESPN

The Hitters
Magglio Ordonez
Magglio is having a career and All-Star season for the Tigers. So far this season, he is hitting .337 with 13 homeruns and 68 RBI. Magglio is definitely someone that the Twins should pitch carefully to, but with other great hitters in the lineup, they can't afford to walk him a lot either.

Gary Sheffield
Sheffield has been a key addition to this Tigers team, and much like Ordonez, he is having a great year. So far this season, Gary is batting .289 with 18 homeruns and 52 RBI. Sheffield has also been somewhat of a threat to steal, and has 10 stolen bases on the season.

UPDATE: Sheffield will not play in the first two games of this series as he will serve his two-game suspension.

Twins (Series) Notes
Morneau is Back!
Justin Morneau played in yesterday's game, and the Twins are very lucky to have him back for this key series. Expect Morneau to DH, and to see Cuddyer some at first base. It is possible that if Morneau is feeling well later in the series however that he may get some time in the field as well.

National TV
This series will definitely get the Twins noticed as they will be featured as national games two different times. First, on Saturday, they will be the FOX Saturday Game. Then on Sunday, they will be featured on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

In addition to this series, look for the Twins on National TV next week when they play on ESPN against the Yankees, and then play again on FOX against the Chicago White Sox.