It's History Day at Comerica Park, though I have no idea what that means. It just provides me a way to say the Twins will try not to be history against the Tigers again.
Wait, here's some history: Joe Mauer has hit nine home runs in this ballpark, more than any other except the Metrodome. (Before you ask: six at Target Field.) But Mauer will not be in the lineup today, for the very good reason that he has appeared in every game this season and the manager believes he could use a day off. And the best way to do that is on the day before an off day, as the Twins have tomorrow, because that gives him two days of rest.
Jim Leyland was talking about that very subject before today's game -- "People need to understand, this is a grind," he said. "Guys just need to take days off, like any [worker] does." Mauer has gone through an 0-for-21 slump and several foul balls off his mask and body in the past few days, so it makes sense to give him a day -- even if it means benching a guy who is 4-for-8 lifetime against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez.
(Mauer is being replaced behind the plate by Ryan Doumit, who is 2-for-11 with six strikeouts, so the matchup isn't ideal for Mauer's rest. But Ron Gardenhire has to look at the bigger picture.)
Leyland's Tigers are resting some players today, too, including catcher Alex Avila; Brayan Pena will be behind the plate instead. The big difference, though, is in Detroit's bullpen, where Leyland said he would not use Drew Smyly, Al Albuerquerque and probably Joaquin Benoit because they have pitched a lot lately.
It's a 12:10 p.m. start, Central time, and it's 72 degrees here in Detroit. Here are the lineups: