The Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins are going to play in a one-game playoff to see who wins the AL Central on Tuesday. The Twins are going to send out Scott Baker (15-9) who could be considered their ace and the Tigers are sending out 20-year old, Rick Porcello (14-9). The Twins are smart to send out Baker, but the Tigers are stuck in a tough situation with Porcello coming in next in their rotation. They have no other options but to start him, do the Tigers have a chance?
Rick Porcello started out the season very nicely for a 20-year old. He was a darkhorse to even make the team coming into spring training, but he pitched himself into the rotation. The Tigers have rested him quite a bit in the 2nd-half and he has already pitched more innings than he did in the minors last season. He has pitched against the Twins three times this season and has an ERA around three against the Twins. This is the biggest game that he has pitched in his career, but with Jarod Washburn going down with a knee injury, the Tigers have to use the young man in this position. He could be their best option, since Edwin Jackson has been inconsistent and Nate Robertson has had a horrible season.
Scott Baker started the season on the disabled-list and had a bad April/May this season. His best month game in August, when he had a 3.18 ERA, but he had an average September. Baker has been groomed to be the Twins ace, since he has dominated at every level that he has pitched. It was only a matter of time before he would start pitching up to his ability in the Majors. He has set personal records this season in games started (32), strikeouts(160), and wins(15). Baker has had trouble against Detroit this season, he has pitched in four games against the Tigers, pitching 20 innings and giving up 15 runs. He did do well last week against the Tigers by pitching five innings and giving up no earned runs.
The games will be played in Minnesota on Tuesday and I give the Twins an edge in this contest. They have been playing for their lives the last two months and the Tigers have been sliding during that time. The Jarod Washburn trade was supposed to send them to the next level, but it has had the opposite effect on the team. The way Edwin Jackson has been pitching lately, they would probably like a mulligan on that trade too and get Matt Joyce back in return. The Twins have been swinging the bat very well and it’s nice to see Delmon Young playing up to his potential.
The winner of this game goes on to play the New York Yankees in the ALDS and if the Twins win, Carl Pavano will be a scheduled starter against his old club. Can you imagine the backlash that would happen if he would win the clinching game? I’m just saying….