No reports of any blisters for Gibson yet. Yet another two-game losing streak, something the Twins have had a lot of the past two weeks (four since mid June). This time however, good(?) luck(?) charm bS is in attendance to cheer on the team.
G'day, wankers! This weekend the Twins wrapped up the first half of their season and got started on the second half, and so far it's been a fair dinkum year. It does seem odd to see the Twins so dominating when the team spent so many years without getting within a cooee of the postseason, but crikey, I could sure get used to it.
Due to a pair of marathon extra-inning games this past week that pressed today's presumed starter, Kyle Gibson, into an inning of relief work and wore down the entire bullpen, the Twins reached down to Rochester and pulled up Lewis Thorpe. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Thorpe will become the eighth Bruce to play for the Twins in the team's history. Thorpe was expected to just shore up the bullpen, but those plans changed with the heavy pitching workload of the last week. Thorpe got a nice surprise following yesterday's game. His parents decided to take a chance that he'd pitch at some point this weekend, so they went walkabout, hit the frog and toad and headed for Chicago to see their ankle biter in his major league debut. In 14 starts for the Red Wings this year, Thorpe is 3-4 with a 5.71 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. The Pale Hosers send Lucas Giolito to the bump today with the series win on the line. Giolito is having an excellent year with a very mediocre team. He's compiled a 10-2 record with a 2.87 ERA and 111 strikeouts. But he's struggled in his last two starts, allowing nine runs over the course of those outings. So grab yourself a coldie from the Esky, help yourself to a sanger, and flick on the telly, mates. Play ball!
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.
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!
Weather permitting, today we’re looking forward to seeing Ryne Stanek (opener) v. Martín Pérez.
Stanek has started 22 of the 37 games he’s appeared in this season, with a total of 43.2 innings pitched.
Pérez, in his last 7 starts, is 2-2 with a 5.80 ERA, averaging ~5 innings per start with a WHIP of 1.65. His last start was Friday the 21st where he secured a ‘no decision’ in 5 innings of work, allowing Kansas City 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 3 BBs with only 2 strikeouts. To be fair, the offense only gave him 3 runs of support before tacking on 5 more during the 7th & 8th enroute to a come-from-behind win, 8-7 over the Royals.
Last night, Rosario sprained an ankle (no IL ... yet) and La Tortuga was placed on the IL with a left oblique strain (recalled OF LaMonte Wade Jr.) They did inserted Kepler as a late defensive replacement, but Buxton, Gonzalez & Adrianza are still on the IL. Their replacements have not embarrassed themselves, and the division lead being what it is, it’s nice to see them taking the recuperation time they need.
Former league ERA leader faces current league ERA leader. Odorizzi had two bad starts against against the Royals but he's done with them until at least August. His last start against the Rays went well, his last scoreless start. Magill tried to blow it after but didn't fully succeed.
Morton meanwhile was the starter in the blowout loss to the Rays. The Twins have gone 14-9 since then, an only 90-win pace.
Twins back at Target Field for a quick 3-game homestand after a quick 4-game road swing through Kansas City. Injuries, some poor defense, non-clutch hitting have left the Twins at (checking notes.....) 5-5 over their last 10 games. Unfortunately Cleveland has suddenly started to play well and have picked up three games on the Twins over that time. Kyle Gibson on the mound for the Twins and unfortunately bad Gibby showed up last time out, I thought he was left behind in a closet somewhere. Blake Shell on for the Rays and he was shelled (see what I did there?) in his last outing -- lasting only 1 out and giving up 6 runs. Let's hope he doesn't all of sudden get healthy for the Rays today. Rays in the middle of a 10 game road trip that hasn't gone super great for them, hopefully their June Swoon is greater than the Twins minny (see what I did there?) swoon.
7:10P start, great night for a game.
Yesterday the Twins became the first American League team this season to win 50 games. Despite the recent rough patch the team has been going through, they've managed to maintain their status as the best team in the league and the distinction of not losing more than two games at a stretch. And it's not like we didn't all feel some regression to the mean creeping up on us. Odorizzi wasn't going to keep throwing endless shutout innings. The lineup couldn't keep scoring more than six runs with a couple of dingers every game. The bullpen has only so much smoke and so many mirrors. Guys are going to get banged up and go on the IL, sometimes when they've been riding a hot streak. That's the nature of a six month long season, ebbs and flows, high and lows, strikes and gutters. So yes, some ass-bats have been sneaking into the bat rack. Some gloves and arms have been temporarily cursed. There's been a higher than normal level of cerebral flatulence. But I think the Twins have shown remarkable resilience all year and will continue to do so, and we've seen a big enough sample now to know this is a good team with a good chance to make some postseason noise.
The Twins send Michael Pineda to the hill today to try to nail down the series win in this four-game set. He has not been horrible lately. In his last two starts he's thrown 11.2 innings and given up just two runs on seven hits. Homer Bailey will try to salvage a series split for the Royals. He's been a hot arm recently, throwing 13.2 shutout innings while giving up just seven hits in his last two outings. I feel like Polanco is due, so he's my stick to click pick today. Play ball!
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.