Minnesota & Chicago have identical 3-7 records over their past 10 games and both have lost two in a row. The difference being, the Twins faced the Yankees, Athletics, Mets (derp) and Cleveland while Chicago managed that against the Marlins, Rays and Royals. On the season, Minnesota has scored 576 runs and given up 468 for a run differential of +108. The White Sox have plated 418 and given up 514 runs for a differential of -96.
So ... you're thinking this should be a bounce back
game series after the heartbreaker on Tuesday and non-competitive start last night? We'll see - 24-year-old Chicago Ace and former 1st rounder Lucas Giolito has seemingly "figured it out" over 19 starts this year to the tune of 3.14 ERA, 1.092 WHIP, 134 K's in 112.2 innings pitched. He's leading his team in WAR at 3.8 (a full 'Win' ahead of their #2 player, catcher James McCann). All that said, 3 of his 4 losses have come in his past four starts (though the lone 'W' in there was against the Twins on June 30).
After watching Twins starters struggle mightily over the past 10 games (only Gibson secured a starter 'W'), it'd be nice to see José Berríos get the group back on more solid ground. Unfortunately, Berríos hasn't won a start since June 6 (1-3 w/ 4 no decisions) though he has had some nice games where the Ass Bats© did him no favors - he's had 5 or more runs of support only three times in that span. We can only hope that the seemingly awakened Bomba Squad continues to hit; José - and the club - could use a laugher.
The Twins’ AL Central lead is down to 4 games, and for the second time in as many weeks, the Twins get to face the hard-charging A’s (55-41, 2nd in the West, 4.5 games in back of Houston, 8-2 in their last 10) while Cleveland (also 8-2 over their past 10 games) are looking to complete a sweep of the terrible Gardy’s (Detroit). CLE took 3 out of 3, June 21-23 & have won the first 3 of their current 4-game series ... yeah.
I’m going to focus on the pitcher tonight because the professionals on the offensive side of the equation have had their game scrutinized sufficiently over the 1st half. Though maybe they wouldn’t mind getting back to the April/May Twins as opposed to the last months-worth of games (scoring 5 or fewer runs 16 times in 24 games for a record of 13-11).
“Fun” statistical coincidence(?) and the perfect example of the
mediocrity average baseball we’ve been seeing recently...
Last 10: 5-5
Last 20: 10-10
Last 30: 15-15
In his last start, Gibson managed to secure only 11 outs against Cleveland (July 12) before giving way to the bullpen in a game the Twins came back and win 5-3. Gibby is having a slightly better year numbers-wise than his career averages, but I’d certainly appreciate it if we see a start more in line with his June 14 blanking of the Royals - 8 IP, 2 H, 6 SO. I’d even take a start like his last winning performance against the Rays on June 25th: 4 ER on 7 H, with 7 SO scattered over 7 innings. We’ll see.
I got nothing - Happy Independence Day!
Weather permitting, today we’re looking forward to seeing Ryne Stanek (opener) v. Martín Pérez.
Stanek has started 22 of the 37 games he’s appeared in this season, with a total of 43.2 innings pitched.
Pérez, in his last 7 starts, is 2-2 with a 5.80 ERA, averaging ~5 innings per start with a WHIP of 1.65. His last start was Friday the 21st where he secured a ‘no decision’ in 5 innings of work, allowing Kansas City 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 3 BBs with only 2 strikeouts. To be fair, the offense only gave him 3 runs of support before tacking on 5 more during the 7th & 8th enroute to a come-from-behind win, 8-7 over the Royals.
Last night, Rosario sprained an ankle (no IL ... yet) and La Tortuga was placed on the IL with a left oblique strain (recalled OF LaMonte Wade Jr.) They did inserted Kepler as a late defensive replacement, but Buxton, Gonzalez & Adrianza are still on the IL. Their replacements have not embarrassed themselves, and the division lead being what it is, it’s nice to see them taking the recuperation time they need.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Winning series’s against the likes of Tampa Bay, Houston ... even Cleveland (and eventually New York and Boston) is what I hope to see over the remainder of the season. That being said, I certainly don’t mind another mid-season series against the Kanas City-type teams in this league - non-ass-bats make watching the individual games more enjoyable and (when they handle their business) continues their pursuit of the big prize: securing playoffs games & winning series’s in October. That said, watching career years out of our 1A & 1B starters is certainly worth the price of admission.
Odorizzi vs. Sparkman
Big Mike FTW!?! We sure hope so.
Martin vs. Charlie
Central vs. East
Michael Pineda (2-3, 5.35 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 40 IP, 35 K)
Erik Swanson (1-4, 6.35 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 28.1 IP, 21 K)
The 2019 MLB season debut of Miguel Sanó shifts Gonzalez to 1st and Cron to DH while leaving the remainder of the starters as expected. I believe Cruz is available off the bench too ... at least I haven't heard otherwise. I'm excited to get Miguel back with the big club, but I'm also very interested in whether a road trip can help Kepler get off the schneid.
Buchholz vs Pineda
Tortuga behind the dish in place of Castro and batting 7th (bumping Schoop down a spot), but otherwise the lineup looks like last evening’s successful bunch.
Pindeda’s innings pitched in his first three starts have gone 4, 5 & 6. Rocco & the Bullpen certainly wouldn’t mind if he continued that trend with 7 (or 8 or 9) innings this afternoon.
Salvage the Split!!!
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