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.
Game 6 of a pretty successful (so far) 7-game West Coast swing for the Twins as they try for another victory against the Halos. Michael Pineda back on the mound for the Twins and while still definitely a 5th starter, there have been signs of life from Pineda over the past few starts, including a nice little victory last week against the Mariners. Pineda has not done well against LAAAAA in his career so look out.
Trever Cahill with his 2-4 record and 6.95 ERA for the Angels. He pitched last week against the Twins and gave up six runs in 4.1 innings so hopefully the Twins have his number. Cahill has also given up a MLB leading 14 home runs meaning the Twins’ boomsticks should be out in force tonight. It looks like Ben Andrelton Simmons will be out for the rest of the series against the Twins. Too bad, He’s a fun player. I hope he gets back to raking once healthy (and the Twins have moved on). Ohtani has recovered and will be in the line up tonight.
Another west coast late start as first pitch is at 9:07p. Let’s get a nice little five run lead by the 3rd inning so we can go to bed a decent hour.
If you want some baseball before the Twins game, former Twins pitching stalwarts Tommy Milone and Lance Lynn will be facing each other as the Seattle takes on the Rangers. Check local listings.
Last Thursday the Twins had come off a nice little 4-2 road trip, including a three game sweep of the Blue Jays. They had the best record in baseball and I had already placed a lawn chair on the Nicollet Mall to save may space for the inevitable victory parade. Now it’s Tuesday and the Twins have lost 3 of last 4 at home to the Tigers and Angels, Nelson Cruz is nursing a sore wrist (not a good sign for a power hitter), and Jose Berrios was Lance Lynn-like last night. What happened, the Twins have to do something! “Forget it Jake, it’s a long season.”
Kyle Gibson on the mound for the Twins and we’ve seen the emergence of Good Gibby lately. Let’s hope that continues. Angels going with an Opener tonight with Cam Bedrosian pitching first inning and then Felix Pena coming in afterward. This will be the third time this season Pena will have had an opener. I wonder if Cam has any fond memories of Minnesota when his dad pitched here? Usually the local paper writes something up along those lines.
Game time 6:40p. It promises to be another very pleasant night. I hope you can get to the ballpark or other enjoy the game as the Twins try to right the ship back toward my parade route. That lawn chair cost me $8.00.
So today is the 5th anniversary of my wife's death. Wow, 5 years. Anyway, are there songs that remind you of those who have gone before? Maybe it was your dad's favorite song on the radio or a song from a concert you went to with your cousin or friend from high school. Perhaps the song just is evocative of the person, reminds you of their character or the journey they went through. I have many such songs with Elaine but Ghost from Neutral Milk Hotel is one that always draws strong feelings for me. On Facebook I posted another such song, River from Patty Griffin's latest album.
So the Twins once again showed some resiliency by stomping on the Blue Jays 8-0 last night after a disappointing weekend at Yankee Stadium. This a characteristic that was in short supply of previous Twins teams and a nice switch. More please.
Jose Berrios up for the Twins tonight and has pitched about as well as advertised and as we all hoped: 5-1 record, 0.97 WHIP, a strikeout an inning, and an 8-46 walks to SO ratio. He’s establishing himself as easily the staff ace and a legitimate MLB #1 pitcher. Blue Jays have Aaron Sanchez who’s been pretty average this year. He got rocked last game he pitched which contributed mightily to his 1.49 WHIP. My hope is that these trends continue for tonight.
Vlad Jr. has been up to the bigs for about a week now and Blue Jays fans finding out that it’s not easy for a 20-year old to walk right into a MLB lineup and start mashing. An .152 average with no HRs and 1 RBI is pretty humbling no doubt, but the guy will eventually rake. Let’s just hope that it’s not for a couple more days.
Game time at 6:07p Central. C’mon Twins smoke the Jays, but wait until after you defeat Toronto on the field.
So can the Twins keep the momentum going after a classic Odorizzi-Verlander barn burner last night? More importantly can the Astros recover, knowing that there is a new tough guy on the block this year? Well that's why they play the games.
Astros putting up Gerrit Cole who hasn't been super great this year, but definitely gets the SOs, averaging 1.5 inning this year. He had one bad start that has inflated his ERA but should be a pitcher this potent Twins lineup can get to. Michael Pineda up against the Astros again after seeing them last week. Pineda didn't pitch horribly against the 'stros but took the loss. Let's hope for some sweet revenge.
Rainy and cold today unfortunately. Doesn't it seem like our weather has been a month behind since February? I'm guessing they get this in as the rain shouldn't be too heavy and Wednesday and Thursday don't look super great either. First Pitch at 6:40p once again.
Twins Line up:
Twins up against the Astros again after a nice mashing last night. Michael Pineda up for the Twins and he has done as well as expected through four games with a 2-1 record and almost a SO per inning. Also at 6’7”, 265 lbs, I wonder if he had been born in the United States if Pineda would have played football or basketball, the dude is huge. Wade Miley on the mound for the Astros and if you’ve been forgoing anything in a Lent-like fashion until the Twins faced a lefty starter, well today is the day you can finally partake. Congratulations on getting this far with that. Miley has been serviceable but doesn’t throw a ton of strikeouts. He has held opponents to 3 earned runs or less for 20 straight starts, so he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.
Important game for the Twins to win as Verlander up for the ‘Stros tomorrow. Be nice to get a win tonight and not have to worry about Wednesday’s game. First pitch at 7:10p.
Twins Line Up:
So Billy Bragg is in town for a 3 night stay at the Fine Line with a career-spanning set last night, his first 3 albums tonight, and albums 4-6 Saturday. In addition, he had a book reading at Magers and Quinn Wednesday and showed up at Driftwood Bar a couple times this week for a few songs. Quite the Minneapolis residency!
I’m going tonight and Saturday and I’m especially looking forward to tonight’s show as those first few albums were really important to me in my early 20’s. Punky urban folk that about politics, sexual relations, unions, war... all the stuff that makes an idealistic 23 year old tick. I saw him in 1986 at the 930 Club in DC and after the show he invited anyone who was interested backstage to talk about U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. Heady stuff.
Those first albums are on a collection called Back to the Basics and I would strongly urge you to take a listen. Great music that still resonates 35 years later.
Twins and Blue Jays in game two of a 4 game tilt at Target Field. Blue Jays put up Aaron Sanchez who is 1-1 and pitched decently early in the season but still hasn't gotten out of the 6th inning. Speaking of short starts... Twins have Kyle Gibson who is 0-0 but an ERA of 7.71 and hasn't gotten out of the 5th inning yet. As usual, Gibby has looked good for a while then has one bad inning. Twins could use a good outing tonight as cracks in the bullpen starting to show up.
Game time 6:40. Beautiful night for baseball, hopefully more people show up tonight. First pitch at 6:40p.
Twins wrap up a long road trip with a visit to Queens and a two game series with the 6-3 New York Mets. Gibson up for the Twins as he comes off a "bad Gibby" performance of 6 runs in 4.2 innings in his season debut. Hopefully we get good Gibby tonight. It will be especially important as the Mets have reigning Cy Young awardee Jacob deGrom on the mound. deGrom is currently tied with Bob Gibson with for the MLB record of 26 straight quality starts so it would be cool if the Twins bats were active early and often. Mets have a few injuries with Yoenis Cespedes, Jed Lowrie, and Todd Frazier all out of the line up. Also the Mets added Robinson Cano during the off season? I swear I didn't hear about that trade. Huh. He usually plays well against the Twins so that's a bummer.
Game time 6:10p locally. Looks like there might be some rain in the forecast but I bet they get this game in.
Twins Line up: