2018 Game 31: Minnesota Twins vs. Saint Louis Cardinals

One good thing about the years long slog of White Sox ineptitude is being able to score really nice seats on the cheap.  The boy had a birthday party, and I wanted to catch at least one game, so I convinced Jane to let me slip out to the South Side.  $30 something dollars later, I had a ticket just to the side of the Twins' dugout and a few rows back.

As it happened—"as it was meant to happen," Bokonon would say— DG and I bought tickets literally right next to each other for the game yesterday. I was later informed that there was actually a real good up close shot of us on the Twins broadcast. You can find a screenshot here:


Anyway, good times and well met, DG. See you at the GRate in June.

The Twins meanwhile move their road trip on down to St. Louis for a couple of games. We've got quite the pitching battle tonight as neither pitcher has yet to allow a run all year! Both have gotten the W every game they pitched! Sure, they only have 8.2 IP between the two of them, but why should that matter? Romero looked good in his MLB debut last outing. His 98.4mph pitch was the hardest thrown by a Twins pitcher since 2008. Yeesh.

Mauer has 26 BBs to 15 Ks, making his 1.73 BB/K rate the best for all MLB hitters. On the flipside, both in terms of stats and believability, at 10.28 batters per nine innings, the Twins pitching staff as a whole has the majors' best K rate on the road.

Mauer, Dozier, and Rosario are all beasts against NL teams, so hopefully some modes will be engaged. The Cards will be without Molina because, well, I recommend against Googling it. Let's go beat those Birds, gang.

Minnesota Twins vs. St. Louis Cardnials

(13-17)                                          (20-12)
Busch Stadium
700 Clark Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri
7:10 PM EDT

Game Previews
Minnesota Twins Official Game Notes
Yahoo! Sports

Minnesota Twins Starting Lineup
1. Mauer, 1B
2. Dozier, 2B
3. Kepler, CF
4. Escobar, 3B
5. Rosario, LF
6. Grossman, RF
7. Wilson, C
8. Adrianza, SS
9. Romero, P

Saint Louis Cardinals Starting Lineup
1. Carpenter, 1B
2. Bader, CF
3. Fowler, RF
4. Ozuna, LF
5. Gyorko, 3B
6. DeJong, SS
7. Wong, 2B
8. Kelly, C
9. Gant, P

Probable Starting Pitchers
Fernando Ernesto Romero
1-0, 0.00
John Michael Gant
1-0, 0.00

82 thoughts on “2018 Game 31: Minnesota Twins vs. Saint Louis Cardinals”

  1. I know they like Grossman, and I know they're thinking he'll turn it around, and I'll grant that he probably won't hit .175 all year. But at the same time, he was nothing special with the bat last year, and given his defensive limitations, I'm not sure why he deserves to get almost all the starts rather than LaMarre. I don't think LaMarre is all that great, either, but he certainly would tighten up the defense.

    1. I think his fielding issues are overstated. His Outs Above Average are average and his sprint speed is above average, tied with Rosario (27.9 ft/s). I think it's a bit below an average rightfielder, but not by much.

  2. I hope we don't have a plate ump who's going to squeeze the rookie. I hate it when they do that. The strike zone is supposed to be the same for everybody.

  3. Rosario is frustrating on defense sometimes, but it sounds like that was quite a play.

    1. It was. Running catch against the wall that very likely could have been a home run. It got the twins bullpen amped up.

      1. Dick said that he hasn't seen Everyday Eddie that pumped since he was closing games for the Twins. I just saw the replay, and Dick wasn't kidding.

  4. If Castro's injury turns out to be serious, I hope we find a better backup catcher than Wilson. I'm okay with him for a couple of weeks, but his lifetime numbers, coming into tonight, are .213/.267/.317 in 756 big league at-bats. And he's thirty-five, so it's not like he's going to get better. I'd rather have Willians Astudillo, just for the entertainment value if nothing else.

    1. Hi doctor meat!

      You've missed some competent baseball to start this one. I'm also pretty sure most of us here are either listening on the radio or on mute.

      1. I did! Sorry for tardy response. As to seafood... I'm drawing a blank. I'm also at an event Friday night, but we might actually get out around the same time you're done with dinner. I'll get in touch shortly.

        1. Ok, well if you have any non-seafood ideas, I'll pass them along to the boss, too.

          Edited to add: also, seafood place doesn't need to be "new." Maybe just "new" to someone who hasn't lived in NOLA since 2000.

  5. On the stove top: Gumbo. Probably the last pot of gumbo for the season as we're already scraping the high 80s, and this week should feature a day in the 90s. Yeah, it's salad thirty after this pot of soup.

  6. Romero looked like a cat that got scared when that ball came back at him.

  7. Gladden keeps pronouncing Jedd Gyorko's last name "Gorko", despite the fact that Provus pronounces it correctly. Granted, if my name was Gyorko, I might very well pronounce it "Gorko", but this is the guy's sixth year in the majors. Gladden ought to know how to pronounce his name by now.

  8. A sac fly was about the best we could hope for from Wilson. I'll take it!

    1. ii and Dick were thrilled with the bunt, but mostly because it means the pitcher won't lead off.

      1. Which, admittedly, is not horrible reasoning. Especially considering the bottom of our lineup tonight is a wasteland of sub-200 hitters and a pitcher.

        1. Hey, part of that bottom of the lineup is fearsome enough to warrant an ibb.

        2. I did not like it. That's Adrianza giving himself up just so Romero can be a pretty much automatic out. I'd much rather have Adrianza try to find a gap and drive in a run. It's not like the pitcher leading off an inning is going to guarantee a scoreless inning. The Cards liked Adrianza bunting so much, they decided to intentionally walk him the next time to bring Romero up.

          1. If it had been a good batter I'd agree with you, but with two out and a man on first, Adrianza's pretty unlikely to bring home the run. I don't think that was a bad play.

  9. ESPN broadcasters impressed by Romero.
    Suttcliffe thinks Mauer is a sure fire no brainer Hall of Famer.

  10. Even with Asshole LaRussa gone, Cards gonna Cards. Clearly, rookie Romero wanted to drill the #8 hitter with a 3-run lead.

    1. And it turns into a walk for Escobar. Let's bring him around to score now.

  11. One of the best Twins slides I can recall since Randy Bush. That was incredible keeping his hand up until the very back of the plate.

    1. And I would like to once again say that every bit of that play at the plate was far more fun and interesting than a collision would have been.

    1. Yeah, I noticed that too. And Hunter agreed with them. To be fair, neither of them were listening to the radio a lot in 2001

      Doug Mientkiewicz, his size and speed are due to genetics; he's a tribute to the joy of phonetics...

  12. You sent the 35 year old catcher? That's just being greedy, oh, and stupid.

  13. Bat in the way of Wilson trying to score. Perhaps because Mauer thought it was dumb to send Wilson and then couldn't move it.

    1. I still get a chuckle from the 4ltr gang praising Joe's 2-strike batting, and if baseball really wanted to pick up the pace of the game, just start Joe with 2 strikes

  14. As long as Wilson, didn't get hurt, that play should ultimately be meaningless, but I really don't like send Wilson home on that play in that situation. With the top of the order due up, let's let them hit with the bases loaded and no outs. With a 6-run lead, I'm thinking let's not get someone hurt, especially a catcher.

  15. His name was Magill, and he called himself Lil
    But everyone knew him as Nancy

  16. Torii isn't my favorite, but listening to him get irritated with Bremer not knowing his slang is kind of fun.

  17. 1.5 games out of first place. Oh, doom and gloom. I will be the optimist tonight. Our starting shortstop is out the first 80 or so games. Our gold glove centerfielder has missed most of the season. Our "ace" will miss the first 2 months of the season. Our biggest slugger has started slow AND is now injured. We got snowed, rained, cold weathered out the first 2 weeks of the season. Yet, we are 1.5 games out of first. Gibby is looking like a legitimate MLB starter. Berrios is looking legit. Romero is looking better than ok. Our bullpen "looks" like our deepest bullpen in quite a few years. Escobar is daring the front office to demote him to utility guy one... more... time. Mauer has his "best eye in baseball" mojo back.

    So, if Buxton gets back and plays well. If Santana gets back and just pitches league average. If Polanco comes back and Molly can figure out a good rotation of 3 really good middle infielders. Then, I think we have a reasonably good shot at not only making the playoffs, but representing ourselves well.

    Fearless predictions:

    1) Pressly will be our closer by the end of the season.

    2) Gibson will start game 2 of a playoff series this year.

    3) Escobar will start game 1 of a playoff series this year. (just not sure where)

    4) Stephen Gonsalves will be called up mid season, will struggle, but will be on the post season roster.

    5) Rosario hits 35 homers. Bank it.

  18. Escobar is daring the front office to demote him to utility guy one... more... time.

    Leads the majors in doubles, and is tied for 6th in the majors in extra base hits. I'm not totally sold on him as a shortstop (I think he's fine as a third baseman, and the stats seem to bear that out), but let's just say the Francisco Liriano trade has ended up looking a lot better than the Johan Santana version.

    Totally agree on Pressly being closer by the end of the season, by the way. He's looked really good this season.

    1. I think Escobar is legit. I absolutely love Dozier, but with a few middle infield prospects soon to be ready, I think he is the odd man out. However, if we make a run this summer, they can't really trade him can they? If I am thinking with my head instead of my heart, it makes sense to move either Dozier or Escobar while you can still get something for them. Although, I am nervous about Sano in terms of health, and off the field issues.

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