With the season on the line, both the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers put up gargantuan efforts yesterday during a day-night doubleheader. In the afternoon game, the Twins and Tigers went into extra innings tied at one when Orlando Cabrera came through with a clutch hit, knocking in the go-ahead run and later scoring a much needed insurance run to help the Twins win the opener. This cut the Tigers’ lead in the AL Central to just a single game – immense pressure for a Tigers starter in game two.
However, Justin Verlander was up to the pressure – eight solid innings, though he tired late, to hold off another Twins rally and win 5 – 4. Tonight is game three of the series, and if the Tigers can win today or tomorrow, it’s just about sewn up. [SI]
Congrats to the fading Boston Red Sox, who clinched the AL Wild Card spot when Texas lost last night. Meanwhile, the Sox also lost… Five in a row and counting. For Texas, the season was solid but the Rangers ran out of gas and players. Josh Hamilton, for example, is now lost for the season (pinched nerve) and hopes to be ready for next spring. [ESPN]
Colorado’s win and Atlanta’s loss (and, for that matter, a Phillies win) means that the Braves are nearly eliminated from both the NL East and NL Wild Card races – though nothing is set in stone just yet.
The Twins have signed Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano, offering him a $3.15 million bonus, pending his getting a visa to come to the United States. At issue is his age, Sano claims to be 16, but others suggest he is a bit older. (Miguel Tejada syndrome?) [ESPN]
Hurry Back! Boston first baseman Aaron Bates heads to the DL
Many Thanks! I’d like to thank Joe Magennis of Baseballisms.com for inviting me to participate in a podcast discussion of my book, a biography of Hall of Famer Rube Waddell. It turns out that Joe and I have a common baseball fandom past, including being fans of Fred Lynn when Lynn was a young centerfielder in Boston. Joe, by the way, is a great interviewer. I had a great time and will be visiting that site frequently – especially when the site posts old baseball cards looking for your baseball memories. Baseballisms.com does a great job looking at the many small connections a fan builds between him or herself and the sport – which is why all of us love the game as much as we do.
Afterthoughts! Chuck Knoblauch was arrested and faces charges of domestic assualt for allegedly choking and hitting his wife during an argument. The FanNation version of the story was particularly harsh, suggesting that Knoblauch’s career was “plagued by several mental issues” – all I remember was he went through a phase where he couldn’t throw to first base from his position at second… [SI/FanNation]