Let's Pretend The Cubs Are In The Postseason! - Tigers vs. Twins Preview, Tuesday 10/6, 4:07 CT

So what are we going to do around here for 181 days until the next Cubs regular season game? I figure many of you -- I know I am -- are interested in the postseason, and it begins today with the AL Central tiebreaker game between the Tigers and Twins in Minnesota. So I figured I'd post a game thread in the same format that I use for Cubs games. Below the fold you'll find the usual pitcher box, preview and links. Throughout the postseason I'll post game threads for those of you who want to discuss the playoffs -- though probably not with as much detail as this post.

The baseball punditocracy talks about today's game:

Rob Neyer @ ESPN: Twins all the way.

Tim Brown @ Yahoo: the Metrodome refuses to die.

Jon Paul Morosi @ FoxSports, who grew up in Michigan: history favors the Twins.

Chris DeLuca of the Chicago Sun-Times downplays the teams involved and instead whines that the White Sox should have been in it. Ugh.

From Detroit: Rick Porcello's brother talks about him.

From Minneapolis: Scott Baker is a big-game pitcher.

And finally, just to wrench this back somewhat on topic, here is Bruce Miles' analysis of the 2009 Cubs position players. Enjoy the game. My pick: the Twins; they're hot (16-4 in their last 20 games and 9-1 in their last 10 home games) and they always seem to know how to win the big ones -- notwithstanding their 1-0 loss in last year's tiebreaker with the White Sox.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rick Porcello
Rick Porcello
vs. Scott Baker
Scott Baker
14-9 W-L 15-9
4.04 ERA 4.36
81 SO 160
50 BB 46
22 HR 27
vs. Min -- vs. Det

2009 - Rick Porcello 14-9 30 30 0 0 0 0 165.0 172 79 74 22 50 81 4.04 1.35

2009 - Scott Baker 15-9 32 32 1 1 0 0 194.0 184 96 94 27 46 160 4.36 1.19

Scott Baker is probably the Twins' most consistent starter, but he is only 1-1, 6.75 in four starts vs. the Tigers this year. He faced the Tigers last Thursday in Detroit and gave them only five hits and an unearned run in five innings. As a pitcher in the AL Central for several years, he's faced most of the Tigers many times. Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames have both homered off him four times. Magglio Ordonez is 18-for-39 (.462) off Baker with a a pair of homers.

If the Tigers win today, Rick Porcello won't even legally be able to enjoy the champagne after -- he won't turn 21 until December 27. He has had a fine rookie year in which he has posted a 3.09 ERA vs. the Twins (but just a 1-2 record). He faced the Twins last Tuesday in Detroit and got a no-decision in a game the Twins won in extra innings. He should fear Jason Kubel, who is 8-for-11 (.727) against him; Kubel is red-hot right now, too (11-for-26 in his last seven games with 3 HR and 12 RBI).

Today's game is on TBS. Chip Caray and Ron Darling will be the announcers. Here is today's MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Tigers site Bless You Boys and Twins site Twinkie Town.

I'm not posting any overflow threads today; if this one gets too slow during the game, feel free to post an overflow in the FanShot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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