FS1 at 6:07 p.m. CDT
TBD vs Aaron Nola, TBS at 4:07 p.m.
Lance Lynn vs Brandon Pfaady, TBS at 8:07 p.m.
Urquidy's strikeout rate is down compared to last year (6.4 K/9 compared to 7.3 K/9 last year), his walk rate is up (+1.5 BB/9) and his home run rate is steady yet high (1.6 HR/9). All of these things match up well with what Twins batters can feast on. The rest of the league already has with his 5.39 ERA this year in 61 innings. I doubt Houston will let him pitch deep so Twins need to get their scoring in early and often.
We have ourselves some playoff baseball folks. Having split the two games in Houston the Twins now with a chance to close out the Astros at home and move on to the ALCS. There is literally a generation of Twins fans who have never experienced anything like this. My son is 28 and doesn't really remember the 2002 series against Oakland and then losing to the Angels.
Sonny Gray on the mound for the Twins and it will be nice to have his veteran presence in a big game like this. Also I really like the pitching matchup advantage the Twins have with Cristian Javier going for the Astros. He's a big fly out pitcher so hopefully we see a lot of balls deposited into the stands.
Plus I'll be at the game so very excited.
We can keep this post open and use it for the Orioles at Rangers at 7:00. Let's hope the Birds extend that series a couple more games.
First pitch at 3:07
Edouard Julien, DH
Jorge Polanco, 2B
Max Kepler, RF
Royce Lewis, 3B!!
Carlos Correa, SS
Alex Kirilloff, 1B
Matt Wallner, LF
Willi Castro, CF
Ryan Jeffers, C
I may have had my fill of Minnesota sports this weekend, but once more into the breach, I guess.
Rangers at Rays, 2:08 p.m. ABC
Blue Jays at Twins, 3:38 p.m. ESPN
Diamondbacks at Brewers, 6:08 p.m. ESPN 2
Marlins at Phillies, 7:08 p.m. ESPN
That was fun. Let's do it again tonight.
Opening day of the 2023 MLB playoffs and your Minnesota Twins in the thick of the festivities.
This thread will be for all four games, including the Twins v. Blue Jays.
Lopez v. Gausman and while Gausman has put up gaudy numbers this year, the Twins have had his number. Hopefully no regression to the mean. Pablo Lopez seems to be dialed in and I like his bulldog approach. Also the Twins look to have a bunch of relievers who can hit the upper 90's on their fastball. It seems that in the past few years, that's been a big component of teams that have gone far in the playoffs.
I'm writing this in the morning before the roster has been named. I may come back with comments. I may not!
Other games today:
Texas at Tampa - 2:00
Toronto at MN - 3:30
Arizona at Milwaukee - 6:00
Miami at Philadelphia - 7:00
Final regular season game. Everybody has clinched but seeding still to be determined. All games on MLB.tv are free for the day. Enjoy every game being on at the same time.
Joe Ryan gets his post-season tune-up and the Twins will hopefully get the exact amount of rest before the playoffs. I guess we'll watch the AL West (and technically Toronto) to see who the Twins will get in round 1.
Estes made his MLB debut last week against Seattle. He gave up six runs, five earned, over his 4 ⅔ innings. His MiLB is decent but not great. He's still young as his 22nd birthday happens during this year's Division Series.
The Twins are now 11 wins over .500. Their preseason projections had them barely winning the division at 83 wins. They now predict three additional wins over the final five games to get them to 87 wins. They've finished with 87 wins once as the Twins in 2009 and once as the Senators in 1945. The Tigers finished ahead of them by one win in 1945 but they also played three fewer games. The Senators managed two ties in their 156 games.
López ranks well on several AL leaderboards. He's second in strikeouts; ten more puts him in front if Gausman does not make another start. He's tenth in ERA at 3.61; another solid start would put him ahead of Berríos at ninth with 3.58. Seven shutout innings would put him above Eflin's 3.50 (six scoreless might at 3.4957). His FIP ranks slightly better at sixth with 3.60. Another win puts him at 12 for the season and in a many-way tie for seventh. He's eighth in WHIP, right ahead of Gray. Breaking that apart so he's tenth in the H part and fifth in the W part. K/9 he's third and a high strikeout game might put him second. Fifth in innings pitched, two ahead of Kyle Gibson. Finally, his rWAR is tied with rookie Tanner Bibee for seventh at 3.6 WAR. It's been a great season and he will get first crack at earning a postseason win.
Twins clinched the Central Division and with a 1 percent chance to get the second seed so right now these last 6 games are to get healthy, stay healthy, do a little tinkering with the line-up, throw some starters like Paddock and Maeta into bullpen situations and see how they respond, etc. Basically get this team ready for the playoffs.
Bailey Ober back up for the Twins and while I don't think he makes the playoff roster for Wild Card series, he's had a decent season for the Twins and I'm guessing we'll probably see him pitch the last game of the season before he's shut down. I look forward to see his progression next year. Paul Blackburn for the A's. Not sure if he's related to Nick Blackburn or Senator Marsha Blackburn but a cursory look says no.
Game time 6:40. May be a little wet but looks like rain will hold off.
Congrats to the 2023 Twins. We all believed in you the whole time! Definitely there were none of us despairing and thinking that the team should be sellers after a horrible series in Baltimore. No, sir.
Back in the day, this would've been the last game of the regular season. We've still got a few left to go, though. With no reasonable shot at the second seed, I'm mostly rooting for the Mariners to make the playoffs and for some of the fun individual milestones around the league (holy cow, Acuña).
Today, everybody on the hometown team just needs to take an aspirin, chug their electrolyte of choice, and see if they can finish the season on this hot streak that they've been on.