Twins face Tigers in 4-game set for all the marbles … probably

As many times as the Minnesota Twins have been counted out this season, it’s hard to pinpoint any series and say the Twins have to do such-and-such to make the playoffs. But in all likelihood, the four-game series at Detroit starting Monday is make-or-break time.

The Twins enter Monday two games behind the Tigers in the AL Central, managing not to lose any ground after dropping Sunday’s game to AL Cy Young Award frontrunner Zack Greinke and the Kansas City Royals.

Let’s take a look at the matchups:

  • Monday: Twins RHP Nick Blackburn (11-11) vs. Tigers RHP Rick Porcello (14-9)
  • Tuesday: Twins LHP Brian Duensing (5-1) vs. Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (17-9)
  • Wednesday: Twins RHP Carl Pavano (13-11) vs. Tigers RHP Eddie Bonine (0-1)
  • Thursday: Twins RHP Scott Baker (14-9) vs. Tigers LHP Nate Robertson (2-2)

The Twins should like the final two matchups of this four-game series, though I said the same thing a couple weeks ago when Baker was up against Robertson, and that ended with a Tigers’ victory.

Baker has been a stud in the second half, but he has given up four runs in each of this last two starts. Pavano, meanwhile, has been a Tigers’ killer all season long. He’s now 4-0 against the Tigers this year with a 1.69 ERA.

Blackburn has had quality starts in four his last five appearances, and Duensing has been dynamite since joining the rotation. However, Porcello and Verlander are tough matchups for the Twins, who prior to Sunday’s game were on fire offensively.

And, of course, the Vikings …

I’m a Twins guy first, but I can’t write a blog post today without mentioning the Minnesota Vikings’ last-second win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in their home opener.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was talking about Brett Favre on Sunday. And it’s understandable.

That throw to Greg Lewis in the back of the end zone for the winning touchdown was the single reason the Vikings wanted Favre. They trusted a veteran quarterback to make a throw like that, and Favre came through for them.

There was a lot of great football on Sunday.

Tune into WDAY 970-AM at 1 p.m. Monday for Sports Talk

I’ll be filling in on "Sports Talk" on 970-AM from 1-2 p.m. Monday. No doubt we’ll be talking NDSU football, the Vikings, the Twins and whatever else colleagues Jeff Kolpack and Eric Peterson have on their minds.

Feel free to call in. The number in the metro area is (701) 293-9000.

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