Category Archives: MLB

Game 43: Minnesota at Baltimore

J. Berrios

SSS, but 2-0, 0.59 ERA, 0.39 WHIP, 15:2 K:BB

.082/.167/.122 against ... nice.

-v-

C. Tillman

also SSS, but 1-0, 3.52 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 12:7 K:BB

.267/.348/.333 against

 

Game 1 featured offense. Game 2 featured defense. Game 3 features special teams combo platter? At 13-5, the Twins have the best road winning percentage in all of baseball. I suppose it goes without saying that 14-5 is better ... no?

 

Game 36: Rockies at Twins (Day Game)

Marquez v. Santana

Potential for a long day of baseball - fine by me.

26th man for the day will be Drew Rucinski.

Was glad to see Mike Redmond back in the dugout - love that guy.

- edited -

Cheaptoy's Gem of an Intro:

DOUBLEHEADER ALERT! I figure one game log can serve both easily enough.

Game 1: German Marquez (1-2, 4.88 ERA, 3.37 FIP) vs. Ervin Santana (6-1, 1.50 ERA, 4.19 FIP)

Game 2: Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 5.25 ERA, 5.31 FIP) vs. Jose Berrios (1-0, 1.17 ERA, 2.78 FIP)

The Twins definitely have the best combination of starters ready to go for today's day-night doubleheader with Santana and Berrios. Despite the crowded bullpen, not all of those guys are very good so having at least one of the starters go deep into their game will be a big help. The Twins also could really use some good starting pitching after getting a couple of craptacular starts in a row. I think we all knew pitching would be a weakness for this squad, and while maybe it isn't totally dire (Duffey, Breslow, Rodgers and Kintzler look to be mostly bright spots in the bullpen while the starters appear to be about 60% competent) we were pretty much correct as the Twins have accumulated -2.3 WAR from the pitchers so far this year, most of which can be attributed to the bullpen.

Fortunately, the new administration looks to be much more willing to make a change when it's needed. Under Terry Ryan 2.0, I would have expected another few starts being given to Gibson before a move was considered. It will be interesting to see what they do with Phil Hughes, who quite frankly looks like he's at the end of his career. He hasn't been good since his first year here and injuries look to have drained his velocity.

As for the games today, Santana rebounded incredibly well in his last outing coming off of his only bad start of the season to date. While I know he'll have bad games here and there the rest of the way, he looks locked in on the mound and gives the team that top of the rotation guy who can come in after a couple losses and give the team a good chance to keep moving forward.

Jose Berrios had a heck of a 2017 dayview that I wish had happened the first week of the season. But, can't change that. Hopefully he can build on that first outing and keep his confidence up on his way to mowing down some Rockies hitters. I haven't seen a ton of him over his young career, but he looks to be one of those guys that is a lot of fun to watch when he's rolling.

First game is at noon and the second is at 7.

Game 31: Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox

Phil Hughes (4-1, 4.32 ERA, 93 ERA+, 4.33 FIP, 1.38 WHIP, 6:21 BB:SO, 33.1 IP)
-v-
Derek Holland (3-2, 2.02 ERA, 192 ERA+, 3.68 FIP, 1.04 WHIP, 12:30 BB:SO, 35.2 IP)

I can't touch free's open from last night, so I won't even try.

Also ... "Guaranteed Rate Field" ... I know, I know, this is just the logical result of "Fenway Park" and "Wrigley Field*" (but seriously)?

*

Spoiler SelectShow

Game 21: Twins at Rangers

The Tale of Two Lefty's
Hector Santiago (2-1, 2.19 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 4 BB:17 SO's through 24.2 IP, 3.65 RS/9)
-vs-
Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.77 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 9 BB:14 SO's through 26 IP, 7.62 RS/9)

I actually think Santiago's a better pitcher than I'd given him credit for. As cheaptoy noted, this is probably due to the fact that someone was willing to trade him to the Twins in exchange for Ricky Nolasco.

Fun Fact: Mauer is 0-12 facing Hamels - most at-bats without a hit against any pitcher... so, he's due?

After some early miscues and missed opportunities, the Twins nearly managed a 'GreekHouse call' last night, falling only 1 run short of the necessary 8. Sure wouldn't mind them accomplishing that goal this evening.

Last year the team was never over .500 (closest they'd get was 17.5 games back at 46-66, a .411 winning percentage) through 20 games, they were already 6-14. At 10-10, the fellas are in 4th place, but only 1.5 games behind 1st place Detroit. A win puts the Twins back over .500 on the season.

Game 12: White Sox at Twins

"Big Game" James Shields vs. Hector "FIP is for Suckers" Santiago, 3:10 CDT

Yesterday's game was a good reminder that anytime you come to the park, something historic could happen. Ervin Santana's shutout was just the 14th time in Twins history that a pitcher had a shutout with one hit or less allowed. The last time was Francisco Liriano's no-hitter against these very same White Sox.

While that performance was very exciting, seeing Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton hitting doubles into the right-center field gap in the same game was also exciting. Hopefully, Buxton is taking a cue from Sano's hot start and will also see how patient Sano has become and unwilling to chase balls out of the zone.

Getting a win today would be a good Easter and Passover present for Twins fans to keep the team in first and start off this homestand with a series victory.

Game 2: Kansas City at Minnesota

Starting the season with a win, as opposed to the recent standard "L" is so much fun, I was disappointed the Twins didn't play yesterday. Instead, I watched the Wild clinch home ice for the playoffs and the Timberwolves hang with the  Warriors for about 2 quarters before the Splash Brothers blew the thing up.

So, with limited optimism for this season, and with the understanding that Spring Training results mean next-to-nothing, basically all I have to point to today will be historic results.*

The last time the Twins opened the season with a win, 2008, they proceeded to lose the next three games in a row. After 10 games, they were 5-5 and ended the season at 89-74, good for 2nd in the Central (losing Game 163 to Chicago ... booo!)

The last time they won multiple games out of the gate was a decade ago - 2007 - when they won 3, had a couple days off, lost a game and then basically traded wins & losses on their way to a 6-4 start. They went 79-83 and finished 3rd in the Central.

In 2010, the Twins lost their opener, and then pulled off 5 wins in a row, and 7 wins out of the first 10 games. They finished the season with 8 losses in the last 10 games. They still won the Central, but were swept by the Yankees in the LDS and have not returned the playoffs since.

Whatever - I certainly like the idea of a 2-0 start to an 0-2 start. Though I'd argue the Twins are pitching-poor if Hector Santiago is your #2 starter, I certainly wouldn't mind if he can get back to the 2015 version of himself (32 games started, 180.2 IP, 8.1 SO/9, 3.59 ERA, 105 ERA+, 1.256 WHIP).

The Royals counter with Ian Kennedy on the mound.

*Historic results also mean nothing ... but what else am I going to talk about?

1987 ALCS Champs’ Domecoming

I found this gem shortly after JeffA started his 1987 Rewind. This evening seemed like the appropriate time to share it. I didn't want to detract from Jeff's content, and in any case figured there were enough goodies that this would be worth its own post. Hope you don't mind, Chaps.

3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10)
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World Baseball Challenge

No doubt inspired by the upcoming World Baseball Classic and his new MLB.com gig, JoePos threw down a couple pretty interesting challenges for his readers the other day:

Challenge One:

Try to beat my lineup and starting pitcher — with this caveat. Every player in the lineup and the pitcher must be active and born in a different country. So you have 10 players — 9 in the lineup (including DH) and starting pitcher.

Bonus point: Add a closer from a different country.

Challenge Two:

Come up with a 25-man roster that beats mine where all 25 players are born in different countries. This one you don’t have to just use active players, you can go back as far back in history as you like.

Bonus point: Get a manager who is from a different country.

Hint: All territories count as separate countries … Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, etc.

JoePos hasn't posted his lineup or roster yet, nor has he detailed his criteria for "best." He did add a few provisos: Only a player's MLB time counts, and a player "must be viable at the position you put him at, including the specific three outfield spots." As I put my submission together I realized how tricky it was to get all the right pieces for a 25-man roster. It certainly forces some hard choices, which I think say a lot about your philosophy & approach to building a roster.

I'll spoiler my roster and observations below, but feel free to post your own active lineup or full roster. This seemed like a fun way to limber up for some quadrennial international baseball.

'My 25-Man/Country Roster' SelectShow
'Things I Learned' SelectShow

November 21, 1998: Random Day in Twins History

I used a random number generator to pick a season from the past with the idea that I would quickly highlight the Twins history that occurred today in that year.  The generator sent me to the year 1998.

The Twins concluded a sixth-consecutive losing season in 1998 and began to finally embrace a full rebuild.   Relatively cheap veterans Greg Swindell, Bob Tewksbury, Mike Morgan, Otis Nixon, and Orlando Merced were all traded during the season or allowed to leave as free agents.  Paul Molitor finally retired.

The STrib's John Millea noted, "Don't be surprised if the 1999 season is Tom Kelly's last as manager of the team.  The payroll is getting smaller, the players are getting younger, and Kelly's patience continues to wear thin.  He is at his best when the clubhouse is full of veterans who have been through the wars and earned their stripes.  Kelly is not exactly the fatherly type when it comes to youngsters, and sometimes that has resulted in strained relationships that can hinder the ballclub's progress."

Well, that wasn't entirely true.  1999 wasn't Kelly's last season with the team, although the payroll did get smaller and the roster got younger.  Who knows how Kelly's patience wore.  The sentence about striped veterans is the type of non-factual, journalistic mumbo-jumbo that would make Ken Tremendous a cult hero within years.

On this date, Terry Steinbach had filed for free agency and the Twins were mulling whether to bring him back.  Their internal candidates were Javier Valentin and A.J. Pierzynski, and the team did not believe either was fully ready for the next season.  Still, the team had been disappointed with Steinbach's production behind the plate the previous two years.

Postscript: On January 4, the Twins finally re-signed Steinbach.  Despite being nearly ready, it would take Pierzynski two more years to become the starting catcher mainly due to some, um, maturity issues.  One wonders at the official number of "wars" Pierzynski has endured in his career.

Did You Know that David Ortiz played in 86 games, and Torii Hunter played in 6 games that season?  On the mound, Eric Milton started 32 games that year.  Hunter has been retired for one season, and Ortiz just retired.  Milton was just 105 days older than Ortiz, and just 122 days older than Hunter, but  has not played in a game since June 27, 2009 even though he earned more than $47 million in his career.

Did You Also Know that the winning pitcher in Milton's last game was King Felix?

Furthermore, Did You Know that the final hitter Milton faced was Junior Griffey?