Magic number is still 7.
Montgomery on the hill for Kansas City.
Gibson toes the rubber for Minnesota.
Playing Kansas City, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit in the final weeks of the season got me thinking. Every team in the American League Central has played in the World Series ... except Minnesota. Every team in the Central has made an appearance in the past 15 years (though the only teams to win it waswereKansas City in 2015 and Chicago in 2005) and in the entire league, only Seattle has seen a longer absence from the ALCS than Minnesota, by 1 year (Milwaukee, who made the NLCS last year, last reached the ALCS in 1982).
Not to put the cart before the horse - gotta win the game, then the division, then (lord willing) the league first - but I’d say Minnesota is due.
This is the Battle for the AL Central (lead)
Perhaps the biggest series of the season (so far)
Make or Break?
Do or Die?
Win or Go Home?
All or Nothing?
Sink or Swim?
Now or Never?
Put Up or Shut Up?
is it just, "one game at a time"?
The Twins’ AL Central lead is down to 4 games, and for the second time in as many weeks, the Twins get to face the hard-charging A’s (55-41, 2nd in the West, 4.5 games in back of Houston, 8-2 in their last 10) while Cleveland (also 8-2 over their past 10 games) are looking to complete a sweep of the terrible Gardy’s (Detroit). CLE took 3 out of 3, June 21-23 & have won the first 3 of their current 4-game series ... yeah.
I’m going to focus on the pitcher tonight because the professionals on the offensive side of the equation have had their game scrutinized sufficiently over the 1st half. Though maybe they wouldn’t mind getting back to the April/May Twins as opposed to the last months-worth of games (scoring 5 or fewer runs 16 times in 24 games for a record of 13-11).
“Fun” statistical coincidence(?) and the perfect example of the mediocrity average baseball we’ve been seeing recently...
Last 10: 5-5
Last 20: 10-10
Last 30: 15-15
In his last start, Gibson managed to secure only 11 outs against Cleveland (July 12) before giving way to the bullpen in a game the Twins came back and win 5-3. Gibby is having a slightly better year numbers-wise than his career averages, but I’d certainly appreciate it if we see a start more in line with his June 14 blanking of the Royals - 8 IP, 2 H, 6 SO. I’d even take a start like his last winning performance against the Rays on June 25th: 4 ER on 7 H, with 7 SO scattered over 7 innings. We’ll see.
Paxton had a very good year in 2017. Let's hope he carries his first start over (4.2 IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER), and not his 2.98 ERA, 143 ERA+, 2.61 FIP from last season.
Gibson gonna Gibson... did you know he had identical 5.07 ERA's in each of the past two seasons? (83 & 87 ERA+, 4.70 & 4.85 FIP's respectively). He was not efficient in his first start. We'll see what happens.
A loss today breaks the Twins record of 102 losses in a season.
In franchise history, only the 1904, '07, '09 and '49 Senators have lost more than 102 ballgames in a season.
In franchise history, the current team sits in 7th place with a losing winning % of .354 ...
Over the past 6 seasons (including 2011), the team is 404-564, accumulating a .417 W-L% over that time.
Only 7 teams in franchise history have allowed more runs than the current squad (873), and I thoroughly expect them to move into 5th place (>880) or perhaps 4th (>889) on that inauspicious list by close of business Sunday.
Kyle Gibson v. Danny Duffey.
On the broadcast last night, Bert suggested Gibson needs a good outing to get his ERA below 5, as if there's some psychological benefit to having a high-4's ERA v. anything above 5. Yeah .... okay.