Phil Miller subbing for La Velle tonight.
How did Jamey Carroll work off the frustration of his first career ejection? By watching the postseason fireworks with his twin son and daughter in the Twins' dugout. Maybe it washed away the ugliness of an awful night at Target Field.
The game was a dud, with the Twins falling behind 6-2 before the fourth inning was over. When they managed to mount a minor rally, it was undone by Detroit's three-run seventh, ending all hope. The game dragged on for 3 1/2 hours, and it only seemed like half of it was spent during Jose Valverde's interminable ninth-inning performance, when he was taking 30-40 seconds between each pitch.
A few other notes lost in the fireworks smoke:
-- Denard Span had a terrific night at the plate, smacking a pair of doubles and a single. The center-fielder is 7-for 19 (.368) in his last four games, with four doubles.
-- La Velle tweeted an interesting statistic before the game: Detroit had stolen just 16 bases this season (only Boston and Baltimore have fewer), and allowed 37, the largest deficit in the majors. So what happened? The Tigers stole two bases, including speed-challenged Miguel Cabrera's second steal of the season, while the Twins swiped none.
-- Ben Revere made a couple of nice running catches in right field, and Trevor Plouffe threw out Quintin Berry trying to stretch a single in the second inning. But Brian Dozier allowed a pop fly near the third-base line to fall at his feet.
-- The Twins turned three double plays, including a pair of grounders in which Dozier took the unassisted out at second before retiring the batter.
-- Glen Perkins needed only seven pitches, all strikes, to retire the Tigers in the eighth, and Matt Capps threw only one ball among his 14 pitches in holding the Tigers scoreless -- though with two hits -- in the ninth.
-- Three Tigers had three hits apiece, including ex-Twin Delmon Young.
-- Each team had 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Tigers cashed in with nine hits in those situations, the Twins only three.
-- Not only was Scott Boras in Target Field for the game, but former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa was in the house as well.