(Checks MLB.com to make sure tonight's games haven't been canceled for a league-wide training on when a batter can swing at a pitch..... whew, we're still on....)
Brewers come to town for a three-game series starting tonight. This is usually where I gripe about MLB having the Brewers and Twins playing mid-week games instead of weekend games to accommodate more fans, but the pandemic has even taken that away from me this year. Don't worry, I double down on my venting next year if need be.
Maeda up for the Twins and he's been all everyone wanted: Three wins paired with zero losses; 0.72 WHIP, 21Ks v. 4BBs. Sure the competition hasn't been all that great but Maeda didn't create the schedule did he? Someone named Corbin Burnes for the Brewers and it appears he moves from the bullpen to getting the start. Likes the strikeout with 1.5 Ks per inning, but also will walk a bunch too. Should be a fun game.
First pitch at 7:10p A little birdie that Bert is back in the booth for those who watch with tv broadcast.
RF - Kepler
SS - Polanco
DH - Cruz
LF - Rosario
3B - Gonzalez
2B - Arraez
1B - Sano
CF - Buxton
C - Avila
You get a rare two game LCS today, including a late afternoon game.
The Red Sox will be at Houston for game three of that series, all knotted up at 1-1. Eovaldi on the mound for Boston and Keuchel for Houston. Keuchel hasn't had much luck against the Red Sox, except for last year's playoffs. First Pitch at 4:09p Central.
Brewers will be at Chavez Ravine (does anyone call it that anymore) to take on the Dodgers after last night's bullpen-filled outing by the Brewers. Gio Gonzalez up against Rich Hill. Will GG only pitch a few innnings like earlier in the playoffs? It will be interesting to see if the Brewers can continue too use its Bullpen as effectively in a longer series. I'm sure the Jack Morris' of the world hate it, but the Brewers are two wins from the World Series. First Pitch at 8:09p Central.
I'm actually happy that the Brewers are doing well, just not so happy that they've done so at the expense of the Twins this weekend. A quarter of the way through the season, the Twins are below .500, tied for second in the division at 2.5 games back and 6 games out of the wild card hunt, which doesn't seem likely to include the AL Central at this point. Starting catcher Jason Castro is gone for the season. Joe Mauer is on the DL with a neck strain and concussion-like symptoms. Miguel Sano is also on the DL, but started a rehab assignment with Rochester yesterday. Among the healthy players, Buxton, Wilson, Morrison and Adrianza are all hitting near or south of the Mendoza line. Garver, Kepler, Dozier and Grossman are hitting .250 or below. I'm not unhappy with the quality of starting pitching, but the rotation remains fairly inefficient, notching just 210.2 innings over 39 games - just a smidgen over five inning per start (I didn't include Hughes' 2 starts because he'll never be a starting pitcher). Meanwhile, the bullpen has been just bad enough to keep us from contending in the late innings of too many games. Overall, the pitching staff sports a 4.54 ERA (96 ERA+), 4.53 FIP, 1.39 WHIP, and a 2.27 K/BB ratio. On the mound today, Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.35 ERA) takes the ball for the Twins, while Junior Guerra (3-3, 3.08 ERA) will sling for the Brewers.
Whoa, I'm shocked I got this one in on time. I'm in Manchester for two weeks, so I likely can't follow the team. But, my rental car is a six speed diesel, so there's that.
Deduno (1-3, 3.86 ERA) vs. Gallardo (3-3,3.56 ERA)
Dedudes and his zoomy look to avenge Gibson from last night against the first place Brewers at the swampy confines of Miller Park.
I made it to England and I'm fairly surprised by how often I'm running across terminology differences that are giving me pause and making me have to think about communications. Truly two countries separated by a common language. I also did some driving around between the hotel and the airport (because the Apple maps gave me shoddy directions), and I'm struggling a bit to understand where the left side of the car is, so I've hit a couple of curves on left turns. I've also missed a couple of gears because my left hand refuses to do what my right hand does naturally. Starting today I should get to actually see some of this country instead of just the dumpster outside my hotel room window.
Tonight commences an oddity in Milwaukee, the opener of a four-game, home-and-away series to mark the long-ago rivalry that existed when the Twins and Brewers were in the same league but that MLB likes to keep alive for the sake of marketing. I can appreciate that. The Twins send Kyle Gibson (4-4, 4.81) to the mound tonight to face off with Matt Garza (2-4, 4.84). And of course we have the bonus of Carlos Gomez in the game tonight. Fortunately for us, Gomez won't be out for any type of revenge, even the kind that's served cold. In fact, it seems Gomez really enjoyed his time in the Twin Cities. "I don't have any hard feelings with Minnesota," says Gomez. "I'm always watching highlights from Minnesota, because they took care of me well and had beautiful fans."
I'm sure he's talking about us, citizens. Play ball!