Let's kick nibbish week off with a song that Newbish is crazy about. That's partially because it's on a Toyota commercial (also how I've gotten him into Fleet Foxes), but mostly because it's FUN-KAAAAAY.
This is an extended version, and they don't waste a second.
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I think Gibson is a decent pitcher, but he is prone to the type of game he had last night, where he just doesn't have it. Rocco realizing that in the fourth inning and taking him out probably saved the ballgame. That's the type of good decision making that adds up over a season and becomes magnified in the postseason.
It also turned "I don't have a good feeling about this series" to "hey, this could work..."
Trying to keep the good vibes going today is Jake Odorizzi. He's taken a bit of a tumble lately, bit I'm thinking that his true self is somewhere between the truly great April and May that he had and the significantly less good June where he lost his hold on the All Star Game start and, eventually, a couple of layers of skin on one of his fingers.
We all know this series is big. A win or (dare I even a think it) a sweep puts Cleveland back in their places and (hopefully) gives them a seller's mentality here in the next few weeks.
Cleveland counters with Trevor Bauer. He's been up and down lately after his strong start. The Twins got to him last time. Hopefully, they do it again.
That's right, our long nightmare is over. Byron Buxton has returned. It's hard to overstate how much better having our favorite fleetfooted fielder back helps matters, but let me try...
With Buxton, we are basically assured of winning the World Series. Without him, we'd be hard pressed to stay out of the cellar.
Marwin is back, too, and I've got to say, he was missed quite a bit, too. Having a guy who can play six positions while providing a bit of power and fair contact skills adds a lot of value. GGettingboth of these guys back on the same day makes this team a LOT better, instantly.
As Philo noted, Berrios did his job of giving the bullpen a break yesterday, now it's time to capitalize with a nice winning streak heading into the all star game.
The Twins are in a bit of a rough stretch lately. Now, they're merely the best team in the AL. Whether it's that the opponents have adapted a bit, or whether the team is just tilting a bit, they've seemed a bit flat lately.
This is still a good team, though. I know we're all looking for that thing to push us into postseason glory, but for now, let's concentrate on today's game and enjoy the ride.
Today's game features Berrios for the Twins. No matter what anyone says, he's pretty clearly one of the top 10 starting pitchers in the game right now. If that's not an "ace", then the designation is meaningless.
I was working in the video studio recording graduation last night, so I only saw the last inning of the game. It was a good inning to watch.
Like Jeff A, I haven't totally figured out the pattern for Rocco's bullpen usage, other than it seems that Taylor Rogers is probably the only reliever he trusts 100%. That's probably wise, as Rogers is obviously the best in the pen by a fair margin, but I sort of worry about overuse. It would be nice to get one more very good-to-elite arm out there, or for May or someone else to truly step up to the point where Rocco feels confident putting him out there in late and close against top teams.
Hopefully, we get Good Gibson and the bat's come out furious against Yonny Chirinos, a person I've never heard of, who has nonetheless put up a pretty solid season so far.
That ends today. Let's go, Twins!
Also... Burn the Trop to the ground. What a horrible stadium.
So. This team can put it in the seats , sure. But can they grind out nine innings of stringing together a bit every other inning, scoring a single run while pitching to contact and losing by six? Because I think I speak for everyone when I say that is the kind of baseball we've become accustomed to in Minnesota.
Until these guys know what it means to consistently load the bases with infield singles, then run themselves out of the inning by getting picked off each one of the bases, are these guys even Minnesota Twins? I submit that they are not.