2014 Game 51: Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins

As Jeff A has well cataloged, this team seems to be at a bit of a crossroads. Here's to hoping the Magical Zoomball is at its full effectiveness this afternoon.

Texas Rangers vs. Minnesota Twins
(27-26)                                             (24-26)
Target Field
1 Twins Way
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
12:10 PM CT

Game Previews
Minnesota Twins Official Game Notes
Yahoo! Sports

Texas Rangers Starting Lineup
1. Choo, DH
2. Sardinas, SS
3. Moreland, 1B
4. Beltre, 3B
5. Rios, RF
6. Martin, CF
7. Choice, LF
8. Chirinos, C
9. Odor, 2B

Minnesota Twins Starting Lineup
1. Dozier, 2B
2. Mauer, 1B
3. Plouffe, 3B
4. Arcia, RF
5. Willingham, DH
6. Kubel, LF
7. Pinto, C
8. Escobar, SS
9. Santana, CF

Probable Starting Pitchers
Nicholas Martinez
1-1, 2.14
Samuel Deduno Lake
1-3, 3.48

Photo courtesy of Matthew Deery

38 thoughts on “2014 Game 51: Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins”

  1. So, I'm hearing Dicknbert for the first time in a long while. In a couple of innings, Dick has already mentioned that he thinks bunts have been really important during this series. It's like I never left, although it feels a little bit more like I'm overhearing a conversation from a couple of old dudes in a nursing home.

    1. We were at my parents over the weekend watching the game and at one point after some inane dicknbert discussion I turned to my son and said, this is why I watch with the sound off.

    1. Heh, Gameday has video of the HR up before the game has actually gotten to that point.

      1. Also, good to see his hand issue isn't bothering him too much. He definitely got all of that one.

    1. I'm not particularly certain that Willingham is going to be productive for the season, but hopefully he can do enough that they might be able to trade him for a minor-league piece before the trade deadline.

    1. Crap, I missed it by one!

      Edit: but I'm okay with that, because I like the self-aware LTE a lot more than my throwaway LTE about Willingham and his future.

  2. I can't say for sure, because I'm not watching, but I suspect that run might not have scored with a real centerfielder out there.

    1. I don't think it was an experience issue. A better throw might have gotten the runner, but it was going to be a tough play (with the wind, it would have been tough for an outfielder to really set up the throw) and Santana's arm strength seems reasonable. The tagging runner from 3rd seemed pretty quick.

  3. Okay, Joe, it's rally time! Grand finale time! Line drive in the alley time!

  4. I keep meaning to post this...I recently read an article that figured each MLB team's most feared hitter (I think they used OPS and longevity to get there, but I don't remember). Any guesses?

    Biggest Twins Killer Evarrrrr SelectShow
    1. I'm choosing to look at this as 3 consecutive 1-run games against a good Texas team. That's something, right?

        1. Looks like two roughly .500 teams to me--Rangers probably better than the Twins so far this season, though not by much.

          The Twins are only one game ahead of where they were at 51 games last season, though. 222 RS last year, 216 RS this year. 245 RA last year, 243 RA this year. It'd be hard for them to have gotten off to a more similar start through 51 games. (Games 52-102 last year were 22-29, games 103-153 were 20-31, and the last 9 games were 1-8.)

          The optimistic part of me says they are still only 3 games below .500, and if their run differential is fairly neutral, so even just modest improvement from the first third of the season would give them a chance to stay close to .500. I am definitely not thinking playoffs, but maybe they won't totally crap the bed this year.

          1. I don't know. They have a little better pitching, I think, but this offense is about ready to go into free fall.

            1. This isn't a free fall? I thought that happened before Arcia and Willingham got back. Willingham showed there's nothing wrong with his bat speed today. That was a monster blast. I've never seen one hit up there.

      1. This is more about luck catching up with them after winning all those one-run games. Unlike the Orioles of a couple years ago, they couldn't keep it up all season. The Rangers specialized in hitting weak flares at the exact right time (or wrong time) and right place (or wrong place). However, this wasn't a good Rangers team. The starters in this series were Nick Tepesch, Scott Baker, Joe Saunders and Nick Martinez. ???!!?? The lineup is Choo, Beltre, Rios and ????!!!??? They did hit well against the Tigers before playing the Twins so it could be just playing the Rangers at the wrong time along with some bad luck. But the real disappointing part was the Twins twice getting to the bullpen in a tie game in the late innings with our top relievers pitching in their customary roles and we lost both games. This was supposed to be the strength of the club, but it hasn't been great and the K rate for everyone not named Perkins is concerning.

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