All posts by freealonzo

Game 93: Mets at Twins

The New York Metropolitans come to Target Field for a two-game interleague series. The Mets have had another disappointing season and signs are they may be dumping players at the deadline. Maybe Noah Syndergaard or Jacob DeGrom can change lockerooms before they move on from Minneapolis. Zach Wheeler, who was also probably on the trading block, goes on IR, so the Mets probably have no chance to trade him.

Steven Matz on the mound for the Mets and he's been not super great this year. Michael Pineda for the Twins and has been a 6 inning, 5 hit guy recently, which has been nice especially after a rough start to the season. Looks like a nice set up for a Twins win and hopefully sweep as the Athletics and Yankees line up for visits to Target Field later in the next 10 days.

Rain late afternoon but forecast looks like game will get in.

Twins Line up:
Polanco
Gonzalez
Cruz
Rosario
Cron
Kepler
Sano
Schoop
Castro

FMD — Road Trip

So the kids and I are driving out to Glacier National Park a week from Sunday. It's a 17 plus hour drive there and then back so I need to think about what songs I want for the drive. The family rule is that the driver gets to pick the songs so I will be subjected to the whims of a 24 and 26 year old as well. What do I pick when it's my turn to drive? I've always thought R.E.M. was good road trip music and also good guitar trippy stuff like Built to Spill or Ride is always fun. When I drove to Memphis last year I did the whole 11 CD Stax set, which literally brought me to the City limits of Memphis. I listened to Minneapolis-based musicians on the way home. I could just put the needle on my Guided By Voices collection, I bet I easily have 35 hours of their music :o)

So what songs/artists/genre's do you like on a road trip? What's the purpose? Keep you awake, fit the setting, something you haven't heard before?

Also drop 'em if you got 'em.

2019 Game 78: Tampa Rays v. Minnesota Twins

Twins back at Target Field for a quick 3-game homestand after a quick 4-game road swing through Kansas City. Injuries, some poor defense, non-clutch hitting have left the Twins at (checking notes.....) 5-5 over their last 10 games. Unfortunately Cleveland has suddenly started to play well and have picked up three games on the Twins over that time. Kyle Gibson on the mound for the Twins and unfortunately bad Gibby showed up last time out, I thought he was left behind in a closet somewhere. Blake Shell on for the Rays and he was shelled (see what I did there?) in his last outing -- lasting only 1 out and giving up 6 runs. Let's hope he doesn't all of sudden get healthy for the Rays today. Rays in the middle of a 10 game road trip that hasn't gone super great for them, hopefully their June Swoon is greater than the Twins minny (see what I did there?) swoon.

7:10P start, great night for a game.

Twins lineup
SS Polanco
C Garver
DH Cruz
LF Rosario
1B Cron
CF Kepler
RB Astudillo
3B Sano
2B Schoop

2019 Game 72: Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins

So the game after "The Bunt heard around all 10,000 lakes." Will the Twins be able to put behind them one bad half inning of baseball? Will Jorge Polanco be dropped in the batting order as punishment? Will Max Kepler have to watch YouTube videos of Paul Molitor run the bases? (UPDATE: Kep not in lineup tonight... hmmmm) Most likely the Twins will demonstrate the resiliency they have all year and put together another good game of fundamental baseball and the smashing of home runs to thrill the hometown fans.

David Price on the mound for the Bosox, and while maybe not as dominant as in the past, he's pitched decently this year and has a good 10.5 So/9 innings stat. Price was terrible his last start giving up 6 runs in 1.1 innings to the Rangers. Hopefully Price rides that negative momentum into this game as well. Michael Pineda for the Twins and has shown signs of getting better lately, including a 2 hit, 1 run outing over 5.2 innings last week.

Buxton on IL, so I decided to honor him in the featured image. Get better my man.

Beautiful night for baseball, C'mon Twins, let's kill this 2 game losing streak. I'm going to Wednesday's game and don't want the fans all angsty tomorrow.

Twins Lineup
SS Polanco
C Garver
DH Cruz
RF Rosario
1B Cron
RF Gonzalez
3B Sanyo
CF Cave
2B Schoop

2019 Game 65: Mariners at Twins

Seattle in town for a 3-game series and bring your glove if you're sitting in the outfield seats as both these teams on pace to demolish the season home run record. Seattle has 5 games in hand so their 1 HR lead may not hold however. I don't get how another team can have played 5 extra games by June 11th, especially since the Twins have made up a bunch of their early cancellations. Twins coming off a nice 6-4 road trip and now have 9 games at home, mostly against division bottom feeders. A 6-3 home stand would be great and really put the pressure on Cleveland to pack it in for the year.

Mike Leake on for the Mariners and he pitched a complete game in his last outing. For those who forgot, a complete game is where the starting pitcher goes the whole nine innings and gets all 27 outs, no relief pitcher comes in. Not sure teams could do that anymore but apparently Mike Leake just did that just last week. Not a big strikeout pitcher but has done well against the Twins over the past year. Martin Perez on for the Twins, and although he's come down from his lofty early season perch, has continued to pitch quite well for the Twins.

Kind of a rainy day and forecast calls more rain off and on but I'm guessing they get this one in. Back to 7:10p starts.

Twins Lineup
RF Kepler
SS Polanco
DH Cruz
LF Rosario
3B Sano
1B Gonzalez
2B Schoop
C Castro
CF Buxton

Friday Music Day — Chicago

I’m going to Chicago this weekend to spend some time with the kiddo. We are doing typical Chicago stuff: A street festival in Andersonville (pride-related), Architectural tour, Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley, Gospel Brunch at House of Blues.

The trip got me thinking that for being the County’s 3rd largest City, Chicago isn’t as well known for musical genre’s as other Cities. Of course the Chicago Blues is well known from perhaps the 40’s and 50’s, mostly fueled by the great black migration. Some hip-hop artists recently have become well known, such as Chance the Rapper. And of course Wilco is based in Chicago too.

Back in the 80’s there was a thriving punk scene, but it didn’t really break much nationally. In fact there is documentary on that era unironically called “You Weren’t There” that looks at these 80s Chicago punk bands. It includes the band Da! which was kind of an arty punk band, maybe inspired by The Gang of Four. A good friend of mine was the guitarist.

Anyway what other artists do you think of when (or if) you think of Chicago music?

Also, drop ‘em if you got ‘em.

2019 Game 59: Minnesota at Cleveland

Twins start a 3-game series against Cleveland today and it's the first time these two teams have met since the opening week of the season. Even though there is a little over 100 baseball games left to play, it seems like this is a critical series for the Spiders, especially given that these two teams don’t meet for another 5 weeks -- a mere 12 days or so before the trading deadline.

To show how dire it is for Cleveland, they would have to win 64 games (62%) to finish ahead of a .500 playing Twins. Both Cleveland winning over 60 percent of their games and the Twins just winning 50 percent seems unlikely. But hey, it’s baseball. It could happen, but if you’re Cleveland, you need for it to start happening over these next three games. Twins winning two or three of these games may just in fact push the Cleveland front office into tear it down mode.

Justin Shane Bieber on the mound for Cleveland and while he hasn’t done much on the charts lately, apparently he has a decent curve. He’s a high strikeout guy with 1.25 SO/Inning and a 4-2 record. This includes, however, his last game where he was hammered for 6 runs in 5 innings but still got the win statistic because of huge run support from his teammates. Talk about pitching to the score.

Devin Smeltzer on the mound for the Twins and let’s hope he can pitch another 6 or 7 inning gem and keep this train chugging along. Oh did I mention Nelson Cruz is back?

First pitch at 6:10p. Settle in for some nice Central Division Baseball as we hit the summer months of what so far is a very fun baseball season.

Twins Lineup
RF Kelpler
SS Polanco
DH Cruz
LF Rosario
C Garver
1B Gonzalez
3B Sano
2B Schoop
CF Buxton

2019 Game 54 — Brewers at Twins

Game 54 means 1/3 of the season is over. Day after Memorial Day means the Spring portion of the season is over too. By this time we should be able to get a sense of who the real teams are and who the pretenders are. Obviously all is good in Twins land. Best record in baseball, on pace to smash the Home Run record, 10 game lead on Cleveland -- who doesn’t really look like a team able to play at a .600 pace the rest of the season, Oddo, Perez, Berrios looking great, even bad Gibby has been stuffed in a closet somewhere. Nelson Cruz should be back in the line-up any day, Mitch Garver on track to recover from his injury, Buxton doing (good) Buxton things, the list is endless. So settle in folks, we should have a fun summer of Baseball, and on the Tuesday after Labor Day, hopefully I’ll be writing up a post about Fall baseball coming up and how the Twins need to set up their line-up for the playoffs.

Brewers in town for the second game of a weird two-game series. I still don’t understand why MLB doesn’t like money. Bring the Brewers in for a 3-game series over a summer weekend, and update the software on your cash registers as people will be handing over the money on tickets, food, beer, and souvenirs like there was no tomorrow. Zach Davies on the mound for the Brewers with his gaudy 5-0 record, 2.43 ERA. Since he pitched two innings last night hopefully the formally teenaged-racist Josh Hader will have to take a night off today.

As mentioned earlier, Twins called up Delvin Smeltzer to make his MLB debut. Twins got him as part of the Dozier trade with the Dodgers and by all accounts was only a matter of time before he made it to the big club. Let’s hope for a successful first outing, perhaps a couple of early Twins homeruns will help tamp down the butterflies.

Games back at 7:10p. Looks like a nice but cool night to be at the ballpark.

Twins Lineup
Max Kepler RF
Jorge Polanco SS
C.J. Cron DH
Eddie Rosario LF
Miguel Sano 3B
Marwin Gonzalez 1B
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Jason Castro C
Byron Buxton CF

FMD – Happy Birthday Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan turns 78 today. Fun fact: Bobby Z is 2 years older than my mother and they were practically neighbors during his time in Duluth, living only 4 blocks apart. She doesn’t think she ever met him at the playground or on the street.

Whatever appreciative or benign feelings you have for Dylan you have to give him his due on how he changed popular music. There’s literally a library of books written about him, so I’m not going to add any more words to his legacy. Just maybe today pause and throw a Dylan song or two on whatever music listening device you have and raise a glass to a true musical genius. May his never ending tour be truly never ending.