Friday, October 2, 2009

The final weekend

The Twins obviously have no margin for error. They also have no good option to start tonight, and they face Zach Grienke on Saturday.

Apparently Jeff Manship (right) starts tonight, Manship and a cast of thousands. I figured after Liriano's disaster last Sunday that Manship would get the call, but ... I suspect he can become a useful major league starter someday, but that day is not here.

As I understand it, the matchups for the final series:

Kansas City at Minnesota: DiNardo (0-2, 7.52) vs. Manship (0-1, 5.81). Wow, a matchup that might favor Manship.

Chicago at Detroit: Peavy (2-0, 2.25) vs. Jackson (13-8, 3.38). Peavy's numbers are AL only. Jackson's August ERA was 4.45; his September ERA, 5.08. He's shot way past his career high in innings, and things are falling apart for him.

Kansas City at Minnesota: Greinke (16-8, 2.06) vs. Blackburn (11-11, 4.08). Greinke is the unanimous pick for AL Cy Young in the poll. Blackburn will be working on three days rest for the first time in his brief career. He's 1 1/3 innings short of 200.

Chicago at Detroit: Garcia (2-4, 4.78) vs. Figaro (2-1, 5.74). The Tigers are holding back Rick Porcello after the 20-year-old threw 111 pitches against the Twins. Garcia's stats don't look like much, but he's impressed the Sox enough that he's penciled into their 2010 rotation.

Kansas City at Minnesota: Hochevar (7-12, 6.24) vs. Duensing (5-2, 3.69). Hochevar is either brilliant or awful. Duensing is coming off the worst start of his brief career. It's possible the Twins would use Carl Pavano on three days rest instead if this game means something.

Chicago at Detroit: Danks (13-10, 3.69) vs Verlander (18-9, 3.45). The Tigers really don't want Verlander pitching Sunday. They'd rather save him to open against the Yankees.

Here's the Detroit Free Press' take on the matchups on the Tigers end of things. I think Michael Cuddyer's right on the Sox pitchers — these are the best the Twins could hope for.

The odds are definitely against the Twins, but these matchups suggest it's not impossible.

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