Game 74: Twins at Red Sox

Jose Berrios vs. Chris Sale

The Twins have allowed 2 runs total in their 3 games thus far on this roadtrip and now have their budding ace pitching. I get the feeling that if Berrios has a dominant start tonight in a win over Sale that it will be treated as a sort of coming out party by national media. It could also be the start of him getting serious consideration for an All-Star berth.

Sale of course is very familiar to the Twins since he used to bleach his socks. In his previous 5 starts vs. the Twins, he has an ERA of 6.91. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have never seen Berrios.

Lineups as Joe gets the night off vs. lefty:



Dozier 2B

Escobar DH

Sano 3B

Grossman RF

Vargas 1B

Polanco SS

Gimenez C

Rosario LF

Buxton CF


Berrios RHP




Betts RF

Pedroia 2B

Bogaerts SS

Moreland 1B

Benintendi LF

Young DH

Bradley CF

Leon C

Lin 3B


Sale LHP

Gulf Coast League Preview

The Gulf Coast League starts today!  Here's a little basic information for you.

There are seventeen teams in the league.  There are four divisions:  the East, the Northeast, the Northwest, and the South.  There are five teams in the East and four teams in each of the other divisions.  Teams take the name of their parent clubs:  the GCL Twins, the GCL Red Sox, etc.  Two teams have two entries in the GCL, designated by "West" and "East":  the GCL Tigers East and the GCL Tigers West.

The GCL Twins play in the South.  Other teams in their division are the GCL Orioles, GCL Rays, and GCL Red Sox.

The teams play a sixty game schedule.  The four division winners advance to the playoffs, with the division winner with the best record playing the one with the worst record and the other two playing each other.  The semi-final is a one-game playoff.  The championship series is best-of-three.

Teams have thirty-five players on their rosters, of whom at least ten must be pitchers.  Players must have no more than two years of prior minor league service.  While there's no rule about it, the teams play at their parent clubs' spring training complexes and all games are day games.

Most of the players the Twins drafted recently will go here, so we'll see how they do.  Go Twins!

Happy Birthday–June 26

Topsy Hartsel (1874)
Babe Herman (1903)
Debs Garms (1907)
Willard Brown (1915)
Howie Pollet (1921)
Bill Robinson (1943)
Dave Rosello (1950)
Mike Myers (1963)
Rodney Myers (1969)
Derek Jeter (1974)
Jason Kendall (1974)

Outfielder Willard Brown was a star for the Kansas City Monarchs from 1935-1948.  He played briefly for the St. Louis Browns in 1947.

There do not appear to be any players with connections to the Minnesota Twins born on this day.

Game 73: Twins at Indians

Ervin Santana vs. Josh Tomlin, 12:10 p.m.

Exactly one week ago, the Twins were 1 game back of the Indians. Now they are 0.5 games back of the Indians, and yet it seems like their season has been dramatically turned around.

Today's game will mark the end of a stretch of 10 games with 7 of them against the Indians. When it began, the Twins had a 2-game lead. If the Twins win today, they will have survived this stretch going 3-4 versus the Indians and will maintain a slim 0.5-game lead. If they lose, the Twins will fall 1.5-games back after going 2-5 versus the Indians.

Of course, after getting pounded at home by the Indians in a 4-game sweep last weekend, it seems almost miraculous that the Twins are in such a good position now, especially since their best player, Miguel Sano, has been sidelined these last 2 games with a sinus infection, and their best 2 starters, Jose Berrios and Ervin Santana, have yet to start in this stretch against the Indians.

Santana will end that today, which means the Twins finally have a favorable pitching matchup, at least on paper. Of course, pretty much the Twins' entire season shows there's a reason why this game isn't played on paper.

After a dominating April and a good May, Santana has struggled in June. Tomlin has an ERA over 6.00, so it looks to be a slugfest today. Then again, the last time these two pitchers faced off, Santana won 1-0 by pitching a 3-hitter.

The Twins will need Santana to go deep into the game because the bullpen was asked to pitch 8 1/3 innings total in the previous 2 games. Manager Paul Molitor will most likely want to avoid using Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers and I really want hit to avoid using Matt Belisle.

And I really, really want him to avoid using Chris Giminez in the outfield again, so here's hoping that at least one of Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler is feeling well enough to play today.