It felt good to finally win a game in Yankee Stadium. It would feel even better winning a series there, I bet. To get that, it would help if Michael Pineda could pitch a shutout against his former team. Or at least turn in a quality start. He's been pretty below average so far with a 2-2 record and a 6.21 ERA. The Twins hitters go up against Domingo Germán, 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and a strikeout per inning. So it's not a good day for betting the farm. On the other hand, we might bang a few more out of that bandbox again today, you never know. Play ball!
I feel like this is a good team, but in order for this all to work, they're going to have to vanquish these pinstriped hacks.
The curse ends here. Let's hope for a pleasing Odor.
Here we are. The Yankees. The Twins have looked good so far, but looking good is what the Yankees start doing well before they even step on the field. Most teams in baseball struggle to sustain success. The Yankees, with all their resources, find it hard to avoid. I suppose they struggle to sustain failure - they're gonna end up good, without even trying.
Yes, the Yankees have had injuries. No, this isn't the absolute best lineup or pitching staff that NY could have fielded. But it's still darn scary. And it's especially scary because there's a, let's say, "excruciatingly painful", history of when the Twins and Yankees play in May.
But maybe this iteration of the Twins will be something different. Maybe Nelson Cruz and whoever is playing catcher tonight will each hit 3 bombs, because that's what they seem to do. Maybe we'll get Good Gibson showing up to embarrass James Paxton. Maybe Aaron Boone will be dared by his bench coach into having every player only sacrifice bunt, no matter the circumstance. And maybe he'll actually take that dare. I sure hope so.
Or maybe it'll just be some good baseball, either way. I sure hope for that too.
Down 1-0 in the top of the first. Plenty of time to come back. Go Twins!
The calendar rolls to May and the Twins resume starting at the usual 7:10 p.m. time. Hopefully they also resume scoring more runs than the other side.
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:
Alright, boys, you have one goal tonight.
So baseball teams are hitting a lot of home runs so far this year, about five percent more than in the most prolific season ever for dingers, and that in the coldest part of the season when balls aren't supposed to carry so well. Apparently the balls have lower drag, which would mean the stitches are not as raised. That would also impact pitchers' ability to get better movement on their throws. Few teams in the game right now are mashing the baseball as well as our own hometown nine. After just a month of games, the Twins have the third highest batting average in baseball (.269), behind only Houston and St. Louis. Their on-base percentage is much lower, 13th in the majors and only nine points above average. But the boys have been bringing out the boomsticks with the team sporting a .514 slugging percentage, the best in the game, and that's good enough to put them atop all teams in OPS at .849 as well. While Eddie Rosario has been en fuego at the plate, it's actually Jorge Polanco who leads the team in OPS at 1.033. Shoot, Eddie's .970 OPS isn't even good enough for second place, which is held by Nelson Cruz at 1.022, one step ahead of Edisito. In fact, the only regular position player on the team right now with an OPS+ below 100 is Marwin Gonzales, who sticks out like Michael Pineda's butt with a 30 OPS+ (Adrianza's sucking the nipple nearest the ass with an OPS+ of just 14). But Rosario does lead the American League in home runs with 11 (third in MLB), and is second in the league in ribeyes with 24, which averages out to one run poked in per game.
On the mound, Jose Berrios is the team's clear ace with a record of 4-1, a 2.97 ERA, 41 strikeouts and only 8 walks. Not only is he pitching the best, he's pitching the most, logging one out above 39 innings pitched, 13 more that the second best innings eater on the team, Martin Perez. Today the Twins send Kyle Gibson to the hill for his fifth turn through the rotation. He's been inconsistent at best, compiling a 6.10 ERA over 20.2 innings. For a guy who seems real reluctant to pitch to contact, he's done his fair share of it, and he's given his share of free passes, too, which accounts for his 1.500 WHIP. Hopefully the offense can provide him plenty of support today and allow him to be more aggressive in the strike zone, which should let him pitch deeper into the game. Not a bad bet considering nearly half of the Twins home runs this year have come at the hands of Baltimore pitchers. The Orioles today are starting Dylan Bundy (who according to BR is a rare switch hitting pitcher). Bundy has no wins and three losses in five starts with a 6.56 ERA. He's also given up one home run for every ten outs he's managed to notch. The sky is fair at Target Field today, a high temperature in the upper 50's is expected, the concrete is most definitely dry and the boomsticks are fully loaded. Play ball!
That Houston series was "disappointing", per se, but after that first game, it just seemed like they let some good opportunities pass then by. The bullpen looked weak and the Twins' aggression at the plate began to look very exploitable.
As it turns out, facing the Orioles is the best medicine. Last night, Alex Cobb pitched like he's trying to top Bert's home run record by the All Star break, and the Twins took advantage. At the very least, this seems like a team that can beat a lesser opponent.
Today's opposing pitcher, Dan Straily, has been having any the same level of success as Cobb has -- that is to say, none at all. Hopefully, our batters can take advantage of that and hopefully Berrios has a tighter outing today than he has in his last few.
This seems like a very winnable game. Here's hoping it sticks to the script.
Oh hey, that's right, I said I'd do Friday game logs this year. This is just the second actual Friday game they've played so far, so I've not developed the habit.
Cobb for Baltimore, Perez for the Twins, and hopefully this weekend makes up for a few tough losses in Houston.