The Tigers pitching staff—including their No. 1, 2, and 3 starters—gave up a total of 23 runs over three games to the Yankees—the Twins allowed about half of that, all of them coming off of the starters—the Nos. 2, 4, and 5. Each starter allowed 4 ER apiece, and while that's not something worthy of bragging rights, there were positives that could be taken from each performance.
Brian Duensing's Numbers from Tuesday:
First three batters vs. Duensing: 2 H, 1 BB, 1 HR, 3 ER.
The next 25: 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 SO.
What was most impressive is that after Andruw Jones' home run in the second, Duensing never looked like he ever lost control of the game from that point on. He would allow a baserunner every now and then, but he calmly collected himself and moved on through the order.
Aside from the dreadful 34-pitch 4th inning, Francisco Liriano's effort wasn't terrible. His fastball isn't quite back to its normal speed, but his slider and change-up are still as deadly as ever—he went right after Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez, striking out all three at one time or another.
Baker's performance wasn't nearly as clean- he allowed only four runs, but that total could've gotten quite a bit higher if not for stellar defense and good luck. Jeter, Teixeira and Cano to name a few had very sharply hit balls that veered foul at the last moment, preventing extra base hits. And of course, Delmon Young's sliding catch in the sixth saved two runs.
All in all, the performances weren't worthy of anything other than the title of mediocre. But as they were pitched by the No. 2, 4, and 5 pitchers in the rotation, there's no regret in handing out a passing grade.