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Tigers Blow Six Run Lead, Twins Finish Sweep

What a nice start.  Curtis Granderson led off the game with his fifth homerun of the season and then the first five Tigers who came up to bat all came around to score in a six run first inning.  Kenny Rogers was given a six run lead but unfortunately, he and the bullpen couldn’t hang on as the Twins rallied for one in the fourth, two in the fifth and then four in the seventh to complete the improbable comeback.

Just to put it in perspective using win probability added, the Tigers had a 90% chance of winning the game after the top of the first inning alone.  The odds went all the way to 96.7% when Kenny Rogers struck out the first two batters in the fourth inning.  A double and a single later, and it popped to just 92.1%.  Even after the RBI double in the seventh inning, the Tigers still had a 61% chance of winning but the two run single by Joe Mauer off of Bobby Seay was the nail in the coffin that flipped the game from the Tigers being the favorites to the Twins being the favorites.  Win Probability Added has it’s fault, but the two run single by Mauer was definitely a big hit and it’s reflected as much using WPA.

Zach Miner took the loss despite those two runs coming with Bobby Seay on the mound.  Francisco Cruceta did it again with a shutout ninth in which he struck out two and got two ground ball outs.  So far so good, it’d just be nice to use him a high leverage situtation to test his mettle.

The three loses push the Tigers into last place and the Twins, who have now won five straight, find themselves in first place.  Still, just three games seperate first and last place so the standings could look very different this time next week.

Unfortunately, the Tigers have a tough week.  They’re at home, but they start with four games against the Red Sox.  Game one is tomorrow.  Denny Bautista hit the disabled list this weekend with a short shoulder so that hurts.  Hopefully Cruceta can step in and pick up the slack in his abscence, although it’d be nice to have both of those guys as an option.

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