Here are some thoughts following the Twins losses to the Tigers
FIRST GAME PROBLEMS: A small crowd was expected for the first game, which was the makeup game for last night's rained out affair. We weren't sure how small. You combine a losing team with a makeup game on a Thursday in September, and you end up with a really small crowd. We estimated around 1,000 in attendance in the first inning. You could hear most hecklers all day. ``It was definitely a little weird being able to hear everybody's conversations off to the side,'' lefthander Pat Dean said.
DEAN PRETTY EFFECTIVE: Lefthander Pat Dean hadn't thrown more than 60 pitches in an outing in over a month. But he was so effective on Thursday in game one that he rolled through five innings and 78 pitches. The Twins lost the game 9-2, but it wasn't Dean's fault, as he held the Tigers to one run over five innings on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts. In addition to mixing his pitches well he was not afraid to pitch inside when he needed to. ``He did a nice job of locating his fastball,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ``I thought he incorporated some offspeed stuff as the innings unfolded, and he gave us a chance.'' Dean told Molitor that he felt good after the fifth inning, but Molitor didn't want to risk pushing Dean too much when each of his last three outings were two innings or less.
KEPLER THE LATEST INJURY: Right fielder Max Kepler left the game after the seventh inning with a mild neck strain suffered when he bounced off the wall in foul territory while trying chase down Jose Iglesias’ double. Kepler is day to day. Iglesias advanced to third on the play, and Kepler was charged with an error. The Twins can't afford to lose another outfielder to an injury, with Eddie Rosario and Danny Santana done for the year with injuries. The Twins have one outfielder left on their 40-man roster - Adam Brett Walker. He's from Milwaukee, so it wouldn't take long for him to get over here as an emergency option. Just pointing that out.
ESCOBAR MAKES PLAY OF THE NIGHT: Eduardo Escobar made a diving stop to his left to Rob Miguel Cabrera of a hit in the seventh inning of game two. He then was able to turn and dive for the third base bag in time to double up Iglesias, who had reached third on the Kepler play. Cabrera couldn't believe it, as he dropped to one knee at home plate with that classic, ``you have got to be kidding me.'' look on his face. ``It was a phenomenal reaction play,'' Molitor said.
CENTENO BEHIND THE PLATE: Juan Centeno was charged with a throwing error in game one after entering the later, but his day was waaaaaay more complicated than that. Pat Light was charged with two wild pitches - one on an intentional walk. And Michael Tonkin was charged with one too. In the second game, Ervin Santana was charged with two wild pitches. In 50 games, there have been 32 wild pitches on Centeno's walk. And many of those could have been blocked. For comparison, Kurt Suzuki has had 35 wild pitches on his watch - in 98 games. Only Houston and the Cubs (!) have been charged with more wild pitches. Centeno has an issue.