Your Minnesota Twins are currently a .500 team.
In most divisions, that would rightfully place them right around the middle of the standings. In the AL east, it would have them in dead last place.
Ah, but we don't play in any of THOSE divisions...
Joe Ryan takes to the mound to keep the modest winning streak (currently at one game) alive. The Blue Jays are going to send Alek Manoah......'s temporary replacement, Bowden Francis. This will be Francis's first major league start, and considering he hasn't completed five innings in a minor league start yet this season, I wouldn't get too accustomed to seeing him in the mound today. I would bet he doesn't get more than eight or nine strikeouts.
After last night, the Twins are 28-11 in games where they score 3 or more runs. I think I see a sneaky key to the game: score runs. I'm hoping Rocco has seen something similar and am curious whether he'd exploit a strategy which allows them to take advantage of it.
Yesterday was fun! Let's do that again.
Today, Bundy takes on Berrios. Neither pitcher has had a GREAT year, exactly, but Berrios has been particularly bad. Here's hoping our guys can take advantage of that.
The bottom half of the lineup looks pretty rough, but this can work.
Buchholz vs Pineda
Tortuga behind the dish in place of Castro and batting 7th (bumping Schoop down a spot), but otherwise the lineup looks like last evening’s successful bunch.
Pindeda’s innings pitched in his first three starts have gone 4, 5 & 6. Rocco & the Bullpen certainly wouldn’t mind if he continued that trend with 7 (or 8 or 9) innings this afternoon.
Salvage the Split!!!
First Pitch 1:10 p.m.
Phil Hughes (1-6, 5.70 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 27 K)
Marcus Stroman (4-1, 4.23 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 43 K)
Phil Hughes was far from bad the last time he pitched, giving up just one earned run, but he went only 6.1 innings on 75 pitches. It was later revealed that he's been throwing with shoulder fatigue, so we can probably include the Twins training staff in the whole total system failure thing. Today he squares off against Marcus Stroman, who is coming off his worst start ever after giving up 7 runs on 13 hits to the Rays. Momentum, thy name is today's starting pitchers.
Meanwhile, in Bizarro World, the Atosennim Sniwt have won 31 of their games so far this season while losing just 11 for a .738 winning percentage. They lead the league in Slugging and OPS, ERA, Saves, and WHIP. The Sniwt maintain a sizable lead on their division, and are favored by many to win the Bizarro World Series.
Hughes (10-6, 4.11 ERA, 4.19 xFIP) vs. Estrada (8-6, 3.53 ERA, 4.62 xFIP)
With the way the post-ASB has gone, I'm finding myself falling into the depths of ambivalence. It feels like, as in year's past, this is when the team regresses. I keep trying to remind myself that they started the year off pretty terribly as well. But, the recent struggles of Glen Perkins has me concerned that it just isn't gonna happen. That's the guy I never really consider for someone who will have a run of crappiness.
Anywho, there are still games to be played. With Estrada's xFIP being over a full run higher than his ERA, let's hope the offense doesn't Price-ify him like they've been doing. Gotta get those runners in from third! Especially with Hughes having a HR year and the Blue Jays seeming to be fond of the long ball.
This game will start with a rain delay. Yippeeeee.
Correia (2-7, 6.11 ERA) vs. Happ (5-2, 4.12 ERA)
Time to get a winning streak starter, Mr. Correia. Somehow. That craptacular AL Central title isn't going to wait around all season. At least, I think it won't even though the Tigers seem to be doing their best to leave it on the platter.
My time in Manchester is finished and we've moved to an area that looks, basically, like every American mall area ever. Its pretty awful. There's still some real ale to be found, but its all in what seem to compare to TGI Fridays or the like. Fortunately, I won't have time to do anything, anyway, since we're here to conduct a trial this week. I did manage to introduce the Scottish sales guy that I'm with to Bengali Tiger last night, though and the same bar had this on cask as well.
Start time at 6:07 p.m.? That better be a cash grab first pitch time like the Pale Hosers 7:11 sponsorship deal, because otherwise it makes no sense. Unless it's a metric thing...
When I was about 8 or 9, my mom dropped me off at the park half an hour early for baseball practice. It was hot and I was tired so I sat down under a tree to chill in the shade for awhile. Turned out I picked a tree with a blue jay nest full of chicks and one aggressive mother of a momma. She was able to dive bomb me half a dozen times before I could clear the area, and I'm sure I looked pretty foolish running from a bird. I've been predisposed to dislike blue jays in any form ever since.
On The Hill:
Nolasco (4-5, 5.65) vs. R.A. Dickey (6-4, 4.25)
Ricky Nolasco gets the start for the Twins tonight while former Twin/Met/Mariner/Ranger R.A Dickey gets the ball for the Jays. The Twins bested Toronto in an early April series by taking both ends of a doubleheader made necessary by a weather postponement. Dickey pitched one of those games, but he gave up five runs on seven hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings for his shortest outing of the season, that one against Kyle Gibson.
The Blue Jays had won their last six series before losing their weekend series to the Cardinals. The Twins are still trying to get back to .500 after splitting a 4-game home-and-away series with Milwaukee and dropping their weekend series to Houston. Enough, already. Play ball!
Well, its time for the first Tuesday game of the season. This should be a good time with an expected game time temperature of 36º F. (goodness, could you imagine the Pelf pitching in this stuff? brrr) This seems like a good time for some birds to come into town (not that Toronto is any warmer), so the Twins will have that going for them.
Anyway, your starting pitchers for tonight:
Morrow (1-1, 5.73) vs. Hughes (0-0, 7.20)
I would expect a decent amount of strikeouts this game as both pitchers are striking out 1+/inning. Hughes has only gone five innings in each start, though against Oakland he had that bad first inning, then four good innings. Hopefully he keeps those good innings going and continues this trend of the starters eating some innings. It would warm my heart if, by the end of the year, Hughes showed that it was that awful place in NY that was the problem.
Taking a quick look at Morrow's game logs for his first two starts shows him pitching well at the beginning of games, but losing it a bit later on. It'd be great if Twins hitters could continue this trend of taking a lot of pitches. They lead the league in that stat, taking 4.14 PPA which has also put them atop the leaderboard in walks.