16 May 2012
The Detroit Tigers avoided falling to two-games below the .500 mark with their 10-8 win over the Chicago White Sox, but although the Tigers have avoided falling flat on their faces (they’re 8-8 in the last 16 games), they haven’t won two games in a row since finishing a sweep of the Kansas City Royals back on April 18.
But the Tigers have a pretty good chance of doing just that as baseball’s worst team, the 10-26 Minnesota Twins, come to Comerica Park for a two-game set beginning tonight. Just how bad are the Twins? They’re last in the American League in runs scored (3.33 per game), and last in the league in runs allowed (5.33 per game).
The Tigers are set to face 30 year-old right-hander Nick Blackburn tonight in game one of the two-game series. Blackburn currently sports a 7.18 ERA and has allowed seven home runs in 31.1 innings of work. Blackburn showed promise earlier in his career, posting a 4.05 ERA and a 4.03 ERA in consecutive years as a 26 and 27 year-old (2008 and 2009), but since then he’s made 60 appearances with a cumulative ERA of 5.18. Blackburn doesn’t strike out very many batters, doesn’t appear to have issues with his control, and tends to give up a lot of home runs, so expect the Tigers to put a lot of balls in play, and put them in play with authority.
It’s still relatively early in the year, and the Tigers aren’t in a bad spot just two games back from the Cleveland Indians, but floundering against bad a team like the Twins would be tough to take. Five of the next eleven games are against the Twins, so this should be the perfect opportunity for the Tigers to re-find their groove as a ball club.
Matt Snyder is the editor of The Tigers Den. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.