La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Justin Verlander goes for win No. 20 against the Twins on national television

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 27, 2011 - 2:31 PM

Jim Thome has been traded.

Joe Mauer's neck is better, but still sore.

Michael Cuddyer's left wrist is starting to swell. He's out.

The result is a lineup with eight players batting .255 or worse - with Drew Butera's .163 average the lowest of them all.

This is will be the lineup challenged to stop the unstoppable force that is Justin Verlander. One Twins player mentioned in the clubhouse how the late afternoon shadows already make it hard to pick up the ball. Now they have to pick up Verlander's nasty and hard stuff.

``Maybe it will help,'' the player joked.

We'll see. So will a national FOX audience.

The Twins can make history today, too.They have lost six straight games at home while scoring one or no runs. If that happens today, they will tie the record for such a streak. THE ALL-TIME RECORD. Baseball has been around awhile, folks, so that's pretty,pretty,prettaaaaaaaaay bad, as Larry David would say.

The Twins send Carl Pavano to the mound. He's been flat-out hosed this season. He's been the starter in six games in which the Twins have blown a save opportunity, which is tied for the most in baseball. Now he's matched up with Verlander. Pack a lunch, Carl.

What a great afternoon for a baseball game. Too bad that once the first pitch is thrown, the Twins will begin committing crimes against baseball on their march to oblivion.

Detroit (72-59)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Ramon Santiago, 2B
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Alex Avila, C
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Wilson Betemit, 3B
9. Ryan Raburn, RF

Pitching: Cy Verlander, RHP, 19-5, 20-8

Twins (55-76)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, SS
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Jason Kubel, DH
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Luke Hughes, 2B
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. Drew Butera, C

Pitching: Carl Pavano, RHP, 6-10,4.54

 

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