All posts by Philosofer

Game 96: Oakland at Minnesota

Bassit v. Odorizzi.

There's a part of me that, all season long, just hasn't bought into Odorizzi. For some reason, I feel like he's been doing it with smoke and mirrors. But his last outing, against Cleveland, felt like something different. He didn't have many K's (2), and he still only lasted 5.1 innings, but... it was an important game. A win in that middle game of the series would deny the Indians a chance to gain ground in a home series against the Twins. And limiting the Tribe to just 3 hits felt like something notable. It wasn't about whether Odorizzi is truly an all-star pitcher, and was every bit about the team, and doing what he could to contribute.

Meanwhile, last night's game felt much the same way. It was a hero off the bench who provided the, uh, heroics. Walks were drawn, pressures were kept up, etc. Down 3-1, it was starting to feel like another loss. And then suddenly it wasn't, and it seemed like the whole team was clicking again.

This is one of the things I love most about baseball. It is so much more a team sport than most others. And this is one of the things I've been loving about this iteration of the Twins: it feels like a team. A really well-rounded team.

Speaking of the A's, this phenomena reminds me a bit of Moneyball. One of the great things about Moneyball, and probably something that isn't emphasized all the time, was the focus on the team aspects. Beane said "we don't need you to hit 40 HR, we need you to hit 20, and we'll get the other 20 from X, Y, and Z" (or somesuch. I can't be bothered to look this up.).

Anyway, that's how this Twins team feels to me. And I like it.

Now let's get us another win!

Game 90: Twins at Tribe – The Real Fun Begins

The Twins started the season with 3 games against the Indians. They won two of the three, and started their season off on the right foot. So there's some poetic scheduling happening here that they would start the 2nd half at Cleveland. A few wins would be a tremendous boost for the season. Nothing will really be decided this weekend, but man oh man does it feel like it.

So here we go. Do we have some real champs on our hands? This is where the fun begins. Sit down, buckle up, and let's enjoy the ride!

Game 81: The Twins Close Out The First Half At Chicago White Sox

52-28. That's where the Twins are today. And they're either going to be 52-29 or 53-28 after the first half of games. I'm struggling to find their best first half ever, but this has to be somewhere towards the top, right? Anyway, good for them. And for us.

After a loooong loss yesterday, I think there's some concern about how the Twins will bounce back. A weekend trip to Chicago hopefully serves as the refresher. Berrios on the mound should help. It'll be hot this weekend, and hopefully the bats take a hint from the weather.

Anyway, it's my youngest's birthday today, so I'd better go finish up her cake (inspired by one of Jeff A's cake pictures here on the site - the rainbow one). Let's hope the Twins can deliver a birthday present for her!

Game 75: In which the MN Twins try to Hit the KC Royals, atKC

Let's see if they can do it!

Unfortunately, they've had trouble doing it lately.
Fortunately, they appear to be putting out about the best lineup they could.
Unfortunately, Jakob Junis is one of those dominant pitchers who always picks the Twins apart, right?
Fortunately, the Twins are countering with the always brilliant Martin Perez.
Unfortunately, I have to wrap up this preview now.
Fortunately, it's because I have to go out to dinner with my family.
Unfortunately, now I have to wait to do that while my daughter changes into something more appropriate.
Fortunately, that means I can write more preview.
Unfortunately, I've got nothing more to add.

Game 68: Your Minnesota Twins Honor Former Twin Joe Mauer By Playing The KC Royals

We start Joe Mauer Number Retirement Weekend with Purple Prince Twins Jersey Night at Target Field. Man, this is a good weekend for Minnesota stuff, isn't it? Prince and Mauer? Nice. Also, our town just got a Townball team, and they wear purple jerseys, and their first ever home game is tonight too. So this is one of those fate things, right? Gonna be a great weekend for Minnesota baseball.

Let's hope the team can get going on an actual winning streak here tonight. They're pitching Gibson, who didn't do so hot against KC when he faced them in April (4.2 innings, 5 earned runs in a game the Twins ultimately won 7-6). But that was April, and no one knew the Twins were the best team in baseball back then, so I expect the Royals will just lay down this time for Kyle.

Meanwhile, the Twins are going to be purple raining bombas all over the place, and hopefully everyone can just sit back, relax, and enjoy a beautiful Minnesota summer weekend. This is the good life.

Game 62: Twins at Tigers

Tonight the Twins start the final leg of their long road trip with the first of 3 in Detroit. A year ago we probably would have looked at that series in Cleveland and thought it showed promise - they had a chance to win all three games! This year... it feels like a let down. Hopefully they can turn things around against the Tigers (well, hopefully they turned it around last night with the win...).

Pineda has been called up from the IL, and hopefully he's able to quickly find his stuff again, because the Twins are facing Matthew Boyd, who has some pretty impressive numbers. Of course, he gets beat when he gives up the long ball, and the Twins... they hit those. So maybe you'll want to add multiple names to your HR guess list tonight.

In other news, Philosofette's surgery went well, and she's home and on the mend, though that'll be a long process. Hopefully the Twins can help keep her spirits up!

Game 56: Twins at Tampa Bay

Well, that wasn't a lot of fun yesterday. The Twins are in the midst of a tough stretch - 2 against the Brewers, 4 at Tampa Bay, and 3 at Cleveland. I'd circled these games on my calendar a month ago, figuring that these would be the games that would really tell us what we had on our hands. I'm enjoying the heck out of beating up on middling (or worse) teams. But it'd be great to hang with the best. That Brewers series suggested we could - especially with a bullpen upgrade - but after last night's game, a bounce back in Tampa Bay would be huge.

For some reason I have it in my head that trips to Tampa Bay are kind of like playing against NY or Toronto for the Twins. Teams that just seem to play them tough. It's my hope that Baldelli knows exactly how to shift gears for this team when they need it. There's a part of me that would give him an awful lot of credit if the Twins can end up with a winning record in the stretch I mentioned above.

Hopefully it also help to have Berrios on the mound - he's due for a dominant performance. Ideally the offense will show up, and then some, with an answer game. Tampa Bay is using an opener tonight, and I feel like that's the kind of thing that never quite works out like its supposed to, so hopefully that's the case again.

FMD 5/31/19 – Summer Mix Time

Not sure if I'm the one to put this together, or if someone else wants to step up (I'll happily defer, given that I won't get to it for a while), but I thought we should at least get nominations for a 2019 summer mix.

Same approach as usual - nominate 3 songs, at least 1 is guaranteed to make it, with heavy preference given to the first song you list. Or something like that.

Also, feel free to talk summer music more generally today, or drop you random 10's, or whatever you like.

Game 50: White Sox @ Minnesota

Here's a little secret: I'm actually more worried about the White Sox than I am the Indians. The White Sox have been building for a little bit, while Cleveland is definitely on the decline. I felt this way last year too, though maybe I was a little early in that worry. It just feels like all of a sudden all of the White Sox' prospects are going to hit their stride.

But the Twins are pitching Jose Berrios, which makes me think that tonight will not be the night that the White Sox hit their stride.

Reynaldo Lopez goes for Chicago. He has apparently been better of late, but gives up lots of fly balls. And the Twins often turn fly balls into 4-base hits, so... we might as well start spookying now!

Game 44: Twins at Mariners

So May 17th is a somewhat infamous day in Twins history. The way I see it, every year that they don't add to bad history is a win. And a win is like a double win.

The Twins'll pitch Perez against the Mariner's Marco Gonzales, who has been pretty solid this year. Hopefully they'll get to him early, so, like last night, folks can go to bed in the confidence that the bullpen will hold on.

Here's hoping for a double win!