game on the FOX mothership in selected areas!
Bailey Ober, who I just learned about, pitches for the Twins in place of Matt Shoemaker. This is a good decision, even if Bailey Ober is completely awful, because Matt Shoemaker was beyond completely awful.
The Astros remain a strong team, and are pitching Jose Urquiday, who has been pretty good (except for his last start).
Riding the high of walking off the Yankees, let's see if the Twins can keep themselves rolling.
Game Time - 7:10 p.m. CT
I laid down to take just a short little rest and it somehow turned into a nap and then I overslept and the thing that woke me up was a nasty leg cramp and I realized I hadn't done the game log yet and I have to get to the grocery store before dinner and goodness gracious it is hot out there. There is something uncanny and underworldly and supremely infuriating about the way the Yankees dominate the Twins. I've not seen the likes of it in my lifetime and it's a record of Twins futility that goes back more than 20 years now. Over the course of the 2010's decade, the Yankees beat the Twins 53 times and only lost 21 games. That's a 71.6 winning percentage. In the decade before that the Bronx Bombers clobbered the Twins with a 57-25 record (69.5%). You have to go all the way back to the 1960's to find a decade where the Twins actually have a winning record against the gentlemen in pinstripes and even then just barely when they won 90 and lost 87 (50.8%). And back then we had players like Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Bob Allison and Cesar Tovar and pitchers like Jim Kaat and Jim Perry and Mudcat Grant. And I can tell you without hesitation or a shadow of doubt, this here Twins team ain't built like that.
J.A Happ gets tonight's start for the Twins, his first against the Yankees since he played for them. Happ has been pretty bad lately. He hasn't recorded a quality start since late April, his 5.61 ERA is heavily front-loaded considering his 10.17 ERA and .360 opponents batting average over his last five appearances. Michael King gets the honors for the Yankees. He's been much better out of the bullpen than he has as a starter and opener where he's failed to notch a win in four attempts and holds a 7.89 ERA. If I had to make a call about tonight's game, I'd say bet the over and hand the Yankees a broom. I could be way off base, though, because the devil is always in the details. Play ball!
Donaldson and Cole get to settle(?) their sticky beef today.
Polanco - 2B
Donaldson - 3B
Larnach - LF
Cruz - DH
Jeffers - C
Kirilloff - RF
Sanó - 1B
Simmons - SS
Celestino - CF
Here we go. Two division heavyweights who have been eyeing each other all season, waiting to see how they match up in perhaps an early playoff preview as they finally get to test their mettle against the best baseball has to offer....
Dang, I shouldn't prewrite these game logs in April apparently. Yankees in town and while we all are familiar with the Twins disappointments this year, the Yankees are only 2 games over 500, mired in 4th place in the AL East, also besot with injuries. Jordan Montgomery on the mound for the Yanks and he's okay I guess, but definitely the Twins can tee off on him a bit. Big Mike Pineda for the Twins coming off a pretty disappoint start last Tuesday.
Will be a steamy one at Target Field tonight but our good friend Twayn will be there making sure everyone is fully hydrated, finds their seat ok, and generally acts civil. Hey Twayn, it's ok if you give the old dude in a crisp Jeeter shirsey the twice over. Those guys are always trying to move into seats they didn't buy.
First pitch back at 7:10p. Let's go Twins!
RF - Garlick
DH - Donaldson
2B - Polanco
1B - Sano
C - Jeffers
LF - Larnach
CF - Refsynder
3B - Astudillo
SS - Simmons
The Griffin Jax era is (probably) upon us! But first we get another couple innings of Bailey Ober.
I always enjoy a big league debut, even if it isnt an absolute top prospect. Hopefully, there are other enjoyable things in this game as well.
Twins going for the series split after once again splitting the Friday and Saturday games this week.
Yesterday's game was terrible, luckily, I didn't make it past the second run in the bottom of the first. I got home from work, had the game on in the car, and had a vague idea of where things were going.
I assume today's game will be better. Will it actually be worth watching/listening to? Who knows. At this point, each game gets taken at its own merits. Berrios could pitch a no hitter. That would be worth listening. He could earn the Matty P. Shoes Award For Outstanding Achievement in Giving Up Runs to Teams from Kansas City. If that's the case, this game log will barely have been worth making.
So it goes.
Seems like when I'm down on the Twins in these gamelogs they play better, and when I'm optimistic both they and the Wild are awful. I'm starting to suspect that what I write here doesn't actually have an impact on the game, but just in case... Twins were doing good for a while then decided to go right back to blowing it. Against bad teams even. So wee!
Tonight Matt Shoemaker pitches against Brad Keller. That doesn't inspire a whole lot, despite Keller's not being particularly great. So we'll see what they manage tonight. At least the fountain should look good.
Game Time - 7:10 p.m CT
Well, for awhile there the Twins were showing some signs of life with a series win at Cleveland and a sweep of Baltimore at home before losing a home series to Kansas City. Another road series against Baltimore did not prove to be the tonic it's been for a few years now as the boys foundered like an overloaded crab boat on a stormy Chesapeake Bay. The Twins will complete this road trip with a series in Kansas City before returning home to take on the Yankees and and the Astros. Injuries have taken a big toll on this team and rendered it more or less replacement level at way too many positions, and of course there's the bullpen that's been an albatross all season long. It's been a disappointing first trimester to say the least, but as players return from injuries there's hope for improvement. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.
The Twins send J.A. Happ to the mound today while Kansas City will counter with a southpaw of their own in Kris Bubic. He faced the Twins last Friday and pretty much had their number, giving up just one run on four hits over six innings. Happ has been quite good over his last two starts, recording 15 strikeouts in those outings. Let's hope that 38-year old arm has enough experience to hold down the Royals' offense, and that our lineup is more effective against the 23-year old from Cupertino that it was the last time out. Play ball!
Twins now 33% done with the season. At the 25% mark I did some simple projections on record and run scoring for the team. Let's do it again.
Record: 66 - 96 (+9 wins since last time)
Runs scored: 750 (+5 runs)
Runs allowed: 822 (-49 runs)
Pythag prediction: 75 - 87 (+6 wins)
FanGraphs still projects the team at 79 wins, unchanged from two weeks ago. I think I still take the under for that number but the 75 - 79 win mark feels about right.
Polanco - SS
Donaldson - 3B
Kirilloff - LF
Cruz - DH
Larnach - RF
Astudillo - 1B
Gordon - 2B
Jeffers - C
Celestino - CF