2019 Game 88: Oakland White Pachyderms vs. Minnesota Doppelgangers

Starting Lineups

Win Probability: 54.2%

Around the eighth inning last night I thought I'd be writing about how the Twins have a chance to win this four-game series with Oakland today. Instead, because Taylor Rogers chose an inopportune time to have a very rare bad outing, we're hoping to salvage a split and maybe get a game back in the standings from Cleveland. Such are the vagaries of baseball. I can't say that I've been overly impressed with the Twins' overall performance since the All-Star break. They've been adequate at best. But then again, they spent the first half of the season setting very high expectations for the second half that they just haven't managed to equal yet. In some ways, I think a hard-fought race for the division title would be good for this team, a crucible in which they temper their skill and desire into hardened competitive advantage for the postseason. On the other hand, I'd be fine with the Twins going on a month-long winning streak and putting another ten games or so between their tail feathers and Cleveland's beak.

The Twins commence today's contest with Big Mike Pineda on the mound for the 19th time this year. While I wouldn't say I'm a fan yet, he is working hard to win me over and has shown considerable improvement over his last several starts. His ERA is down to 4.38 (104 ERA+) and in four of his last five outings he allowed just one earned run. A 4.18 FIP would suggest he's doing all that while not being especially lucky. In 98.2 innings pitched he's given up 99 hits, 16 walks, and 51 runs for a 1.166 WHIP. He's compiled 87 strikeouts and whiffs more than five batters for every free pass he hands out. Not shabby for a back of the rotation arm, I guess. But despite all the favorable numbers you can find for Pineda, he's still only managed a 0.7 WAR and -0.2 WAA for the season. Cornelius McGillicuddy's legacy counters Pineda today with Daniel Mengden's moustache (4.21 ERA). The Twins touched the right-hander for five runs over 5.2 innings just a few weeks ago. Hopefully they can improve on that today. Play ball!

101 thoughts on “2019 Game 88: Oakland White Pachyderms vs. Minnesota Doppelgangers”

  1. Twins up 1-0, should be more. The CVS ad makes me wish there was one near me, so I could deliberately and purposely not go there. random.org is apparently counting on another pinch-hit home run.

      1. It's another ad about what wimps men are. The husband is sick and the wife mocks his illness as if it was nothing. It's a blatant stereotype, it's not true, and if it was done the other way it would never be allowed to air.

  2. Is anyone else listening to the radio broadcast? I just caught the end of Dazzle talking about a conversation he had with someone, or a group of someones, who said they thought Tony O would be voted into the Hall of Fame next year. That would be awesome, but I missed who Dazzle said he was talking to, so I don't know if this is something I should take seriously or not.

      1. Baines' vet committee induction gives me hope for Tony. He was Hall of On His Way when he blew out his knee.

      1. The only standard Harold Baines has established is that there’s a new Frankie Frisch-style route to packing the committee for Bud’s friends’ friends.

  3. According to Cory and Dazzle, it was a big strike zone early and a small one now. This is what people mean when they say that all you ask of an umpire is that he be consistent. I don't agree with that--I think you can ask him to be correct, because consistently wrong is still wrong. But if he is consistent, everyone can adjust. If you don't know what the strike zone is, it's hard on both the pitcher and the batter.

  4. Sounds like that was a frustration challenge rather than one that actually had a chance to accomplish something.

    1. Yeah I think so. He might have been safe by a millimeter, but that was never being overturned.

  5. We have to be averaging at least one pitch to the backstop every game over the last couple of weeks.

    1. That double was not what we needed, either. I'm getting to where I have about zero confidence in the Twins' ability to hold a lead.

      1. I'm curious what would happen if Oakland and Cleveland were to play right about now.

        1. I really am, too. Cleveland has been taking on some teams that are known to be ungood lately. It'd be nice to see what they'd do if they ran into a buzzsaw. The Twins DID just beat (and nearly sweep) them in a series not too long ago.

      2. I’ve never seen Jeff and Geoff in the same place at the same time....... I’m beginning to think that Geoff is Jeff’s anger translator.

  6. Was it last fall when Jim Kaat floated the idea of seven-inning games? Maybe the Twins need to get behind that idea.

  7. On the plus side, maybe this is setting up a C. J. Cron pinch-hit homer to give me a bunch more points!

  8. Provus says the Twins are "only 4-for-14" with men in scoring position. That's a .286 average. I know it's frustrating to miss chances, but I'm not sure what he expects their average with men in scoring position to be.

    1. League average batting average with someone on base is only .260 so they're doing well today.

    2. Plus Cruz and Arraez were both robbed of hits with RISP. Despite that, at this point in the game, were slugging .571 with RISP thanks to Polanco's RBI double and Kepler's 3-run HR.

  9. No, wait, I was right the first time. I got messed up by the crappy mlb website. At least they split the series even though they probably should have swept (because of how the games went, not because the A's are bad.)

  10. I totally Spookied Kepler's heroics in the 9th. Well, at the very least, I figured if they could just extend the inning so he could bat one more time, he would walk it off.

  11. What a frustrating game to watch. Compounded by the fact that I added an hour to the recording, which only got me to the beginning of the effing ninth.

    Soooo many walks. Passed balls, wild pitches, opportunities not taken advantage of. And then I don't get to see the heroics. WTF?

      1. I dunno, but I did see the highlight on mlb.com.

        Where I did NOT see it was on the 4ltr, despite watching 50+ minutes of Sportscenter. Really? REALLY?

        I mean, WTF? Sure, ignore a walkoff win for a division leader from flyover country. BUT I AM IN OAKLAND'S MEDIA MARKET!

        I guess the 4ltr only cares about Seattle (highlights), WNBA (highlights, including the Lynx loss), women's pro soccer (cool, cool), men's pro soccer (Portland vs Seattle), Detroit winning? a game, Baltimore beating Boston (sure, it's after 1 a.m. on the East Coast, why not?) and a long, tedious piece on Mariano Rivera. Who has time to do the exciting-if-gut-wrenching-for-both-teams'-fans OAK-MIN game?

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