Win Probability: 59%
The ten game lead on Cleveland that the Twins enjoyed two months ago had been whittled down to eight games just one month ago. In the past month of games, Cleveland has slashed that lead to just one game. The Twins vaunted offense remains potent (despite last night's ass-battery), the starting pitching remains mostly competent if no longer outstanding, but the bullpen continues to vex. I mean, when Taylor Rogers breaks your heart twice in one week, it might be time to re-evaluate your emotional entanglements. If nothing else, the worrisome collapse of a double digit divisional lead down to a single game helped spur the front office into action and pick up Sergio Romo from the Marlins. Carlos Torres was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Romo. So long, Carlos, we hardly knew ye. The brain trust has until Wednesday afternoon to make any additional moves that could impact the roster for the playoffs. Now, I keep hearing from the mouthpieces that the Twins, despite their precipitous fall in the standings, are playing with a lot of confidence right now. That's good. But maybe it's time to also play with a little bit of fear and loathing, and more competence than the Twins have shown in recent days. Were I Jonathan Schoop, for instance, I think I would have burned that glove with the hole in it and gotten myself a new one by now.
So, cue the Mighty Mouse theme song, because today the Twins have Kyle Gibson (9-4, 4.24 ERA, 109 K) on the mound to start the game. The Nibbler is our last best hope for maintaining sole possession of first place in the AL Central by the end of the day. Him and the offense, which went MIA on the south side last night. Oh, and the Kansas City Royals. But that's it, just Kyle Gibson, the Twins offense, and the Kansas City Royals. The White Sox send right-hander Dylan Covey (1-6, 6.04 ERA, 31 K) to the hill today. In short sample size theater, Schoop is two for three and hitting .667 against Covey, Garver (not in the lineup) hits him at a .500 clip, and Max Kepler averages .444 against him in nine at bats. So, 58 games to go and Cleveland is hot on our heels and breathing down our necks. Hold onto your butts, citizens, this ride might get a little rough. Play ball!