Game of the Day: Twins 7, Tigers 6
Boof! Pow! Zap!: Hockeytown rolls over Boof Bonser in the 1st, starting the game with 5 straight hits including another leadoff deep by Curtis Granderson. Rather than replacing Bonser with 41-year-old retired right-hander Mike Trombley (which is what I would have done in a panic), interim skipper Scott Ullger sticks with Bonser, probably telling him, "Go get 'em, Biff." A wild pitch, an error and three runs later, the Tigers are up by six. Only a blocked extra point by Keith Millard gives the Metrodome crowd any reason for excitement.
Motorin': The Tigers, coming off a 3-game sweep of the Yankees in New York earlier in the week, are feeling better about themselves. They dropped the first 2 against the Twins but seem to be in good shape to salvage a game, avoid the sweep and make it a winning road trip. Yes. That's just what they want you to think ...
Fishy smell: Bonser finds his chi and sets down the Tigers in order on 5 pitches in the second inning. It annoyed Jim Leyland at the time, but it also was the beginning of the end. The Twins chip away with a run in the 4th and 2 in the 5th. Still ahead, 6-3, in the 7th the Tigers get two outs before the Piranhas begin to stir. An error by Carlos Guillen, a Baltimore chop infield hit and Joe Mauer's seeing-eye single up the middle that could not have been folded through space any more accurately by a Spacing Guild navigator keyed the rally.
I want some butts!: Leyland blamed the offense for not pummeling Bonser some more. He says the Tigers lineup will be shaken up tomorrow. He's not saying how. This reconfigured lineup could fix the problem, though:
CF — Curtis Granderson
2B — Lou Whitaker
SS — Alan Trammell
DH — Kirk Gibson
RF — Magglio Ordonez
1B — Darrell Evans
C — Lance Parrish
3B — Howard Johnson
LF — Barbaro Garbey/Ruppert Jones platoon
P — Milt Wilcox
Feelin' rundown (Sunday's other ballgames)
Angels 6, Orioles 5 — Finally, someone gets to Joe Saunders — and they still can't beat him. The Halos, using the thunderstix of Gary Matthews, Torii Hunter and Robb Quinlan, beat the O's with Earl Weaver's own classic strategy. It goes something like this: Team speed is overrated. All that gives you is little people on base getting picked off, trying to steal but getting thrown out and taking runs away from you. What a team really needs is big people who can hit home runs with men on base. It also must play sound defense. And Terry Crowley's lucky he's in beepin' baseball.
Blue Jays 4, White Sox 3 — John Gibbons finally eases up on Roy Halladay, not letting him complete his 5th consecutive game. Groan. Does skip think Roy is Dave Stieb in 1982? Because if it is '82, dudes, I need to get down to the movie theater to see this radical new flick, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Also, anyone got any quarters for Ms. Pacman? And, can anyone tell me what happened to Tootie last night on a very special "Facts of Life"?
Yankees 8, Mariners 2 - Under orders from Hank Steinbrenner, the Bronx responds to getting swept by the Tigers earlier in the week by assaulting the M's for a 3-game sweep of its own. Jeetah goes 4-for-5 and the Yanks pound, pound, pound Carlos Silva into the ground, ground, ground; Melky C, who leads the team in homers, and Robinson Cano both take Silva deep. Heck, we all took him deep. Trot away, folks.
Royals 2, Indians 0 — In an epic performance described by several different civilizations as "two-thirds divine and one-third human," Gil(ga) Meche dominates the Tribe over 7 innings, allowing just 4 hits. The Indians, conversely, claim their offense is a real mess o' potamia, and that any old Sumerian could beat them right now with one tablet tied behind his back. Also, Miguel Olivo hit a solo homer.
Red Sox 7, Rays 3 — Not even the slightest bit bemused by Tampa's uprising, Red Sox Nation — The Great Oppressor — quells the Gulf Coast revolt with a 3-game crackdown. Kevin Youkilis dictated terms, homering and driving in 4 runs to the lead the Boston thwacking of Scott Kazmir and other counter-revolutionaries. Longoria sent to gulag for reprogramming. Sonnanstine to play ping-pong full time. Crawford to take Nebraska QB job after all.
Athletics 3, Rangers 1 — Wearing fantastic sleeveless retro uniforms celebrating their first season in the Bay Area, the A's beat the Rangers — who were wearing equally fantastic uniforms from when their franchise was called the Washington Senators, and the phrase "Texas Rangers" connoted something else entirely ... Jack Cust's experiment with mushy bats is over, and Greg Smith strikes out 10.
Photo of the Day: Cobra Kai never dies!
The Yankees try an unusual defensive alignment for no reason whatsoever against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. Flanked by "Sweep the leg" Johnny Damon (left) and Robinson "No Nickname Yet" Cano, Melky Cabrera does "the crane" to prevent Ichiro Suzuki from taking second base on an infield single in the third inning.
Derek Jeter (Yankees) 4-5, 2 R, RBI
Carlos Silva (Mariners) 3 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 1 K, 2 HR
"You come in and say, ‘There's a lot of game left. Well, there's the WHOLE game left. So just chip away.' " — Ullger, on what he hold Bonser and the rest of the Twins about coming back.