DETROIT — Tonight’s Twins game has been postponed because of rain and will be made up Tuesday as part of a day-night doubleheader.
The pitching matchups are the same. It’ll be Nick Blackburn vs. Rick Porcello in Game 1 at 11 a.m. (Central), and Brian Duensing vs. Justin Verlander in Game 2 at 6 p.m.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire declined to discuss how this will affect the team’s pitching plans, saying he remains focused on Game 1. He did say this could affect the catching plans, since Joe Mauer likely wouldn’t catch both games. Jose Morales could catch Game 2, allowing Mauer to DH.
We’ll have much more on how this will effect this series and the season’s final week in first editions.
Update: Weather.com says it could rain all day Tuesday in Detroit, listing a 30 percent chance at noon and 40 percent at 7. Nick Blackburn will start Game 1 for the #Twins, no matter when it’s played, with Brian Duensing following in Game 2.
Special note: Happy birthday, La Velle!
Programming note: Fox Sports North has decided it will indeed televise Thursday’s game. FSN is televising all four games of the series now. The national networks have swooped in as well, though their coverage is blacked out in the Twin Cities. Still, it’s worth nothing that MLB Network will televise tonight, Tuesday and Thursday, and ESPN has picked up Wednesday.
Update: Asked who the Twins plan to have start Friday against Kansas City, Manager Ron Gardenhire said he didn’t want to discuss it, that the focus was on tonight’s game. Gardenhire actually nipped several pregame questions in the bud, saying he really only wanted to discuss tonight.
He doesn’t want his team focused on how they have to win this series. Just win tonight.
“You don’t convince them,” he said. “They all have their own minds, and they’re going to think what they’re going to think, but before they play tonight, I’ll make sure they understand: Tonight’s the night. This is the biggest game of the season. Let’s play it and have some fun. … This is the pennant race. Let’s have some fun with it. Take it all in, I think that’s really important. Sometimes they pass you by and you can’t remember what happened. Don’t let it pass you by.”
These are lessons Gardenhire learned the hard way.
People ask him if he remembers specifics about the 2006 pennant race.
“No, it kind of irritates me that I don’t remember,” he said. “I want to remember them all. Joe Torre taught me that one of those first years in new york. He was my first manager. He said, “Remember this, take it all in, enjoy it, don’t let it overcome you, just enjoy it, enjoy the moment. I thought that was really good. I didn’t listen enough, so now I’m trying to listen.”
Gardenhire did say he thinks this team gets it.
“Absolutely,” he said. “On the bench you can see it. They’re having fun with it. They’re laughing. Guy makes a mistake, they’re making fun of him in the dugout. That means they’re pretty loose and relaxed. They’re cheering for each other whether they’re up or down. It’s going along like it’s supposed to.”
Update: Gardenhire did say Bobby Keppel is a candidate to start a game before the season ends. He could be lumped in with Francisco Liriano and Jeff Manship as possibilities for Friday. But during this series, it’s going to be all hands on deck.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Jason Kubel, RF
5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
6. Delmon Young, LF
7. Jose Morales, DH
8. Matt Tolbert, 3B
9. Nick Punto, 2B
Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (11-11, 4.18 ERA)
1. Curtis Granderson, CF
2. Placido Polanco, 2B
3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Aubrey Huff, DH
6. Carlos Guillen, LF
7. Gerald Laird, C
8. Brandon Inge, 3B
9. Ramon Santiago, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.14 ERA)
Comerica Park. First pitch: 6:05 p.m. TV: FSN