2017 Game One: Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins

Say hey, everyone, and welcome to a new season of Twins baseball. I'm not really sure what I'm going to say here. Am I optimistic? Not especially. Are my expectations low? You betcha. Am I going somewhere with this? Not really.

Anyway, whatever, baseball is here again, which means a whole lot of good things, so let's just go with that. Ervin Santana comes to the mound today to try an get Minnesota's first Opening Day win since 2008. Or, we could lose the first 9 games again. Enjoy, everybody!

Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins

(0-0)                                          (0-0)
1 Twins Way
Minneapolis, Minnesota
3:10 PM CDT

Game Previews
Minnesota Twins Official Game Notes
Yahoo! Sports

Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup
1. Gordon, LF
2. Moustakas, 3B
3. Cain, CF
4. Hosmer, 1B
5. Pérez, C
6. Moss, DH
7. Orlando, RF
8. Escobar, SS
9. Mondesi, 2B

Minnesota Twins Starting Lineup
1. Dozier, 2B
2. Grossman, DH
3. Buxton, CF
4. Mauer, 1B
5. Sanó, 3B
6. Castro, C
7. Polanco, SS
8. Kepler, RF
9. Rosario, LF

Probable Starting Pitchers
Ervin Ramon Santana
0-0, 0.00
Daniel Richard Duffy
0-0, 0.00

150 thoughts on “2017 Game One: Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins”

  1. Apparently Stelmaszek, who is dealing with (significant sounding?) unspecified health problems, threw out the first pitch, with Gardy also in attendance.

  2. Damn, need to download the latest version of flash to use Fox sports. I can't see IT approving that ticket.

  3. I admittedly paid no attention to spring training, but the one thing I wasn't expecting from the new regime was Joe Mauer, Cleanup Hitter.

      1. The batting order has been covered exhaustively by the TV guys. Molitor said (A) he might do it differently if it wasn't Opening Day, but since it is, he wanted the established lefties in there and (B) the lefties were staggered.

        All that said, I wonder how many times Mauer will bat cleanup.

        1. I hate that mentality of it's Opening Day so we don't want to hurt anyone's pride. Every game counts. I would hate to think that the Twins end up missing out on the playoffs by one game because they didn't put their best lineup out on the field on Opening Day this year or any year.

            1. Me, too. However, I'd be pretty amazed if the Twins missed the playoffs by one game this year.

    1. Sure, but his pitch framing has been terrible so far. I haven't seen Santana get a single close call. (Meanwhile, Perez must be the gold standard for framing?). Holy cow, I'm complaining about umping already. I don't mean to. Someone stop me.

        1. There was an outside and low one to Mauer, and maybe a high one to someone else, but otherwise you're probably right.

          I just notice the low and outside ones to Mauer, since that's been a pet peeve of mine for several seasons now. I maintain that the strike zone's move in that direction disproportionately affected Mauer as a hitter, and he'd have even better career numbers but-for that shift.

          1. I feel like the low and away thing is something that's always been for lefties facing lefties. I think I've just grown to accept it, but I agree about mauers potential numbers.

  4. Picked up Aquinas from school and got back just in time to watch the start of the game. He's just learning the game, but he's enjoying it.

    Watching ball with my kid. Is there anything better?

    1. Not really.
      Niblet watching with me first said, "Daddy watching 'basketball?' and then 'hockey?'" and I realized, when last I watched baseball, he wasn't even two and had no idea that the moving pictures on the black rectangle meant anything.
      It's going to be a fun summer.

  5. Sounds like Buxton just made a nice play. I love the feel of listening on the radio, but I am glad that stuff like this will come up on the Internet in a matter of minutes.

  6. Falvey responding to Bert's request to describe himself as a pitcher: "A pitch to contact guy who gave up a lot of loud contact."

    Me: How did he not get drafted by the Twins?

  7. Statcast had that at 114MPH? That's the second hardest hit home run by a Twin in the Statcast era.

    Sano obviously has number one, as well.

    1. Royals announcers, fairly, observing that Buxton's first step was wrong there. But man, that one looked cool. To see him recover like that, even with the slip? Wow.

    2. The end catch was better, but I think the metrics will like the first one more. The second one should have been caught but he took a couple steps first before slipping and making a diving catch. Of course, to make a recovery after a bad first step shows his amazing athleticism. He is so fun to watch.

  8. It's nice to see the replay process distance itself from football, where the first order of business seems to be to protect the authority of the official. I expected an out call there, safe though he was.

    1. They intentionally set the replay team off-site and not in the chain of command so there would be no worries about chain of command affecting possible overrides

  9. So apparently Molitor doesn't know percentages of scoring with men on base with no outs versus one out.

    1. Molly bunts much more than Gardy did for the most part. At least it was the 8-9 batters bunting lefty-on-lefty to bring up the top of the order RH-Switch.

  10. That's funny. The first no-pitch intentional walk results in a bases-loaded walk to the next batter. One argument for keeping the old way is to make the pitcher throw 4 pitches out of the zone, which is often credited with throwing off the pitcher's control to the next batter. There went that argument.

  11. If Sano was batting behind Mauer, Moylan would have stayed in the game. Having Mauer between them means the Royals had to go to a second pitching change this inning. Of course, having Sano up now would mean a better chance at a grand slam.

    1. I really love that Sanó had the patience to not go after anything there. They were scared of what he could do, and he worked that to his advantage.

      1. His contact skills are not good, but he's displayed good zone control. Like the anti-Vlad in both areas.

  12. The Milkmaid just pointed out that the last time the Twins won an opener, we had not left Minnesota for the first time yet. Whoa.

    Time to bring this home. I may miss a bit of the Wolves-Blazers game after that marathon inning, but whatever.

  13. The Twins scored 5+ runs in an inning only 14 times last year, 6 of those from the 7th inning on.

  14. First game of the year and Zach Britton pitches in a tie game. Of course, it was a home game, so there was no longer a save situation possible, but still, it has to be a real sore point for O's fans.

      1. That explains why players going back to the Eighties (plus Gardy – but no TK?) were there to be with him when he threw out the first pitch.

      1. He had some seizures a few years ago when he was still with the team. I wonder if that was an early sign.

      1. Well, that's why he wisely changed his name. I still like the fact that Johan Santana is still officially the only Johan to play in the majors, but Ervin used to be Johan and both are pitchers that have made multiple Opening Day starts for the Twins.

    1. I still think its crazy Livan pitched for 4 + more seasons and roughly 675 IP (with 5 different teams) after the Twins cut him.

      1. They're careers aren't all that dissimilar. They both had some pretty good years along with a lot of mediocre or worse. They pitch a lot of innings, which is probably unappreciated. Livan had a 6 rWAR season. Ervin's best was a 5 rWAR season, which is his only season better than last year's 3.8.

    1. Not sure if I should complain about Castro's production, since it will probably mean Molitor will ignore his platoon splits too often, at least for the next month. Then again, if he keeps it up, I definitely wouldn't complain.

  15. If anyone has the time to look it up, I'm curious as to how often a team gets three bases-loaded walks in the same inning. My guess is that it happens about two or three times a year, but I have no idea if that's right.

    1. The Strib's Phil Miller noted its the first time thats happened to the Twins since Sept of 2009.

  16. I'd like to give the game ball to Ervin, but you obviously have to give it to Kepler for putting down a bunt that wasn't the typical Twins attempt that is embarrassment to all of organized ball

    1. You clearly don't pay enough attention to the Twins broadcasters. It was Rosario's bunt that was the key to the inning.

  17. I impressively managed to have to leave to do things during every single run scored today. But I'll take it because NO 0-9!

  18. The Rangers have an early lead on the Indians. With Det-ChW being rained out, if that lead holds up, the Twins will be all alone in first place for the first time since June 7, 2015. Regardless, this will be just the 10th day the Twins will spend in first place since winning the division in 2010.

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