The Twins come back home after a 5-1 road trip, most recently off their first four game sweep in Texas. While the road treated them well, the home stadium has been less inviting as of late; the Twins have dropped 5 out of their last 6 at Target Field.
Coming into town are the White Sox, who just lost 3 out of 4 in Anaheim. Crossing fingers for the Twins to extend the B-Sox's recent road woes. Hopefully Good Gibby will face off against Ivan Nova, who's been white hot lately (ba dum tss!).
Win Probability: 48.1%
As much as my blood pressure would appreciate having a ten game lead on Cleveland, I do love a pennant race that goes down to the wire. Why? I don't know. Maybe we just crave the drama. I know when kids fantasize about playing in the major leagues, it's always World Series game seven, bottom of the ninth inning down by three with the bases loaded and two outs. You just never hear a kid saying, "It's the top of the fourth inning and bases are empty in a meaningless spring training game as I step up to the plate..."
The Twins enter play today with the opportunity to sweep this four-game series with Tejas and at the least maintain their 2.5 game division lead. Martin Perez takes the hill for the good guys, Lance Lynn goes for the home team. Play ball!
Okay, that's more like it.
This is pretty clearly going to be a dogfight to the end of the season, but last weekend, things were looking pretty dire.
They still need to tighten up just about every part of their game (the defense,in particular, has looked really sloppy these last few weeks), but now that the Twins are taking on lesser teams, and now that the Clevelanders are taking on actual contenders, this thing looks doable.
Berrios takes on Jurado tonight. This SHOULD be a winnable game. Let's make it happen.
I'm taking MarWIN.
What is there to say at this point of the season? It's a beautiful August evening, the Twins are in a pennant race, we've got a few weeks left of summer (today's discussion notwithstanding), and the weekend is here. Crack open a cold one, crank up the 'CCO, find some outdoor project to tinker on, or neighbor to chat with, and listen to the Twins bring another W home.
This is the good life.
This is why we're here.
The return of Big Mike. Cleveland recently came into Arlington and took it to the Rangers. I’m hopeful (though with some reservations) that the Twins realize their potential tonight.
The Twins broke the hearts of Brewers fans on Tuesday, and the Brewers returned the favor yesterday. Let’s get back to the Tuesday feels.
Twins with a much needed win to guarantee a season and series split. They need more than splits however. The Yankees are catching up in home runs and the home run differential took a big hit last week. They need a bomba parade to support Gibson.
After a lousy homestand, the Twins back on the road with a 2-game series against the Brewers. This is the part of the write up where I would complain about MLB scheduling two mid-week games against our natural NL rival and how stupid it is, but I've been beaten down. Obviously MLB doesn't care and we will experience the same next year as well. Whatever MLB.
Chase Anderson on the mound for the Brewers as the Twins get to face the back end of the rotation. Anderson has been decent this year with a 5-2 record and 3.70 ERA. He gets just under 1 strikeout per inning. Twins bats should get to him. Talking about the back end of the rotation, Twins put up Martin Perez who has been downright awful lately. Probably the only reason he's still in the starting rotation is that Miguel Perez is still hurt.
Game at 7:10p Should be an interesting match up and a couple of games that would be nice to win.
Win Probability: 59.9%
The Twins pumped the brakes on their four-game skid with a rain-delayed win over Cleveland last night. Jake Odorizzi stepped up as the stopper, tossing five and two-thirds scoreless innings. Even the bullpen got into the act, giving up just one run over the remainder of the game. I have to say that while it's been hard to watch the team play what we now consider sub-par baseball for the past month, and especially hard to watch Cleveland loom larger and larger in the rearview mirror, I still think this team is fundamentally sound. Yes, the offense needs to be more productive in the early innings and more clutch with RISP in the late innings. The starting rotation needs to be more efficient and go an inning or so deeper into games to take pressure off the bullpen. And the bullpen itself needs a zero tolerance policy - we will only tolerate putting zeros on the board.
We have Berrios starting today, Cleveland has recent AAA call-up Aaron Civale taking the ball. That and home field advantage probably account for our high win probability. Play ball!
This sucks, folks.
No way around it. Yes, Cleveland has done insanely well over the past 50+ games, but a double digits lead evaporated quick enough to make my head spin. It sucks.
But! We've still got the easiest schedule in baseball going forward, and I still feel that we've got this.
One of the most important pieces moving forward toward the division title takes the hill today. Odorizzi played like a deserving all star in the first half, and has played like someone who wants to go into free agency looking for a pillow contract so far in the last month or so. That needs to turn around. We need Buxton and Cruz, but it all begins with getting better starts from our rotation.
Get it done, Odo.
Alternatively titled: In Which The Twins Get Off Their Butts And Start Winning Games Again, Thus Marking The Part Of The Season Where They Take Care Of Business Like The Professional Hitters They Are, And Also Who Does This Shane Bieber Think He Is, Anyway?
Let's see what this Smeltzer kid has when he's used as more of a conventional attack than a surprise one, eh?
Featured image courtesy of our division lead.