Thursday, July 5, 2012

Late night: Tigers 5, Twins 1

Brian Duensing was charged with two
earned runs in 4.1 innings Wednesday,
but with better defense behind him
neither run would have scored.
Box score here

Game story here

Another day, another rain delay, another starting pitcher down.

On Tuesday, the Twins demoted Liam Hendriks and brought back Cole DeVries. On Wednesday, they sent Nick Blackburn and his 8.10 ERA to Rochester and added reliever Casey Fien. This move left a question regarding who would start Sunday against the Rangers.

Then Brian Duensing, who was pitching better than his line score indicates, got nailed in the ankle by a line drive and limped off the field. DeVries, who was scheduled to start Saturday, wound up working two innings (28 pitches). I would now expect DeVries to start Sunday, but that merely moves the starter vacancy up a day to Saturday.

It's a mess. The Twins entered Wednesday with a five-game winning streak, but they had had just one quality start in those five games. The All-Star break and its four days off can't come quickly enough for this patchwork rotation and overworked bullpen.

Duensing is said to have a bruised ankle, no fracture, and presumably will be able to take the ball after the break. Also presumably, P.J. Walters, slated for his second rehab start this weekend, will rejoin the rotation.

At a guess, after the break, the rotation will go Scott Diamond, Francisco Liriano, Walters, Duensing and DeVries. But that is based on the supposition that Walters is ready and Duensing's ankle isn't worse than initially reported.

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