So the Twins 2019 season has gotten off to a nice start with three strong pitching performances and taking two from the dreaded Clevelanders of Cleveland. Now the Twins travel on an extended road trip so that we can watch future games at Target Field in non-parka weather.
Jose Berrios on the mound tonight coming off a 7.2 inning, 2 hit, no run, 10k effort. More of that please. Twins play the Kansas City Royals who also won two of three at home from a division rival (White Sox). Brad Keller on the mound for the Royals who had similar numbers as Berrios in his first outing, but with half the strikeouts.
First pitch at 7:15p Central, weather should be pleasant with game time temps in the 50’s.
Today's contest features the first rubber game of the season as the Twins and Cleveland both try to seal an opening series victory. If this series proves to be an indicator of the AL Central race, we could witness a razor thin margin in the battle for the division crown with these two teams slugging it out for the top spot. Or not. It's rather a fool's errand to prognosticate based on such a tiny data set, after all, but a man can hope. Outstanding starting pitching and solid bullpen work from both teams made the first two games close and interesting. Over 13.2 innings, Twins starters Berrios and Odorizzi combined to strike out 21 batters while giving up just one run (a solo jack off of Jake) with the bullpen surrendering one more plate crosser in yesterday's tilt. Today we may see something completely different as Cleveland sends ten-year team veteran Carlos Carrasco to the mound while the Twins tap the newly acquired Michael Pineda. Last year Carrasco notched 192 innings with 231 strikeouts, while Pineda has not thrown a pitch in a regulation contest since July of 2017 due to injuries that resulted in Tommy John surgery and the repair of a torn meniscus in the knee. On paper you have to give today's starting pitching match-up to Cleveland, but they don't play the games on paper. I'm liking what I see from the Twins so far in the Baldelli era, although I'm not so sure that Kepler as a lead-off batter is going to work out. I say batter because Max is hitless in 8 plate appearances so far with two strikeouts, although the SSS caveat still has to be respected so early in the new season. I have to think that eventually Buxton or maybe Polanco will get a shot at the top of the batting order, but time will tell. Play ball!
Baseball is back, everyone!
I'll admit, I've got my hopes set high this year, and Cy Berrios did nothing to dampen those hopes with his record breaking start on Thursday. I think that this is a team that can hang with what looks to be a punchless Cleveland lineup (seriously, pinch hitting for your number three hitter?) and make some noise.
The home team looks to keep it going by sending Odorizzi to the mind for game two. I'm still not sure what to think of the Odor. Will he be pleasing? Will he be pungent? We'll know soon enough.
Winter is over. Baseball is here.