Sorry guys and gals, this has gotta be a quick one. Go team!
Looking forward to a good Game 7. Perhaps it will come down to the very last batter...
Seriously thinking about heading to Wrigleyville to watch it...
Facing the reigning Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber, the Twins swung early & often and their first five hits went: double (Mauer), double (Sano), homerun (Plouffe), double (Hunter), double (Rosario). These five players accounted for all eight of the hits for the Twins - Brian Dozier added a sacrifice fly and a BB, Herrrmaaann reached twice (BB & HBP) and Escobar also had a BB.
Eddie further celebrated his 24th Birthday with a couple of singles, going 3-4. Despite 114 K's to only 14 BB's, Rosario's had a very nice rookie year: .270/.290/.463 with 18 Doubles, 15 Triples, 12 Homeruns, 49 RBI's, 56 Runs and 11 Stolen bases.
Tommy Milone, tapped to start in place of an ill Phil Hughes a mere four hours before the game, rebounded nicely from his previous two starts at the beginning of September (the results of which - combined with Hughes' return from the DL and Duffy's effectiveness - caused a move to the bullpen). He gave Molitor & Co. 5 2/3 quality innings, allowing only two earned runs on four hits, no walks and four strikeouts. In the sixth, Kipnis blasted a fly ball to deep centerfield that it appeared Hicks had a play on. Instead, he leapt & missed it and the ball caromed off the wall, allowing Kipnis to reach third base. The Indian's rookie SS phenom, Francisco Lindor, then added his second RBI of the night (first was a 1st inning HR) by grounding out to SS. That was all they'd get as the Twins bullpen went on to shut the Cleveland lineup down. Boyer, Fien, Perkins & Jepsen pitched 3 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, allowing only two hits and striking out three (two by Perk-n-Play - yay!).
With this win, the Twins have guaranteed themselves the first .500 or better season in five years. Considering I couldn't find any/we didn't do any predictions this year, I'd say none of us expected much from this club to begin the season. That they're still in the playoff hunt with six games to play is a minor miracle.
We open a 4 game set in Cleveland against one of the hotter teams in baseball. Other recommended viewing:
Detroit vs. Texas - 7:05PM CT
Oakland vs. LAAAAAAA - 9:05PM CT
Houston vs. Seattle - 9:10PM CT
[Yawning and stretching]
Whaaa? A game already? Well, okay. Whatever...
The Twinkles started the first of this six game road trip off right, and hope to continue today. However, the Wahoos are sending the Klubot to the mound, but the Twins are countering with their Gibsmo. It's a battle for the future of mankind!!!!11 Or, it's just 2 middling AL central teams (yes, Cleveland, that's right, you can pack those hopes away for another season) playing a game for the literally hundreds of people that are going to show up at the park.
Oy. If I didn't have the Hope Springs Eternal optimism of some of the other Citizens to buoy my spirits somewhat, I'd certainly have sunk into a deep despondency long ago. That said: Oy.
The hometown nine have managed a single win during this homestand after suffering their 10th (!) shutout of the season, and are in the midst of some ridiculous number of consecutive scoreless innings. But really, when you think about, there's... um, if you-- well, erm. Yeah.
A lot of Citizens in attendance today, so let's try not to harsh their mellows, eh? To do so, the Twins send Staff Ace Phil Hughes™ to the mound. However, the Wahoos counter with Kluber, who's been none too shabby himself. If you like low scoring affairs,
good thing you're a Twins fan this has the makings of a duel.
Oh yeah, and no TV today.
Game in progress!
Start time: 7:10
Weather: warm and humid
Fan pulse: ________^________
CLE TJ House 1-2, 4.40 ERA. 8 starts
MIN Kris Johnson 0-1, 5.40 ERA 2 starts
We are knee deep in the dog days of summer. Todays weather finally reminded us of that. There are other signs: lots of coworkers on vacation, county fairs and town festivals every weekend, only the diehards left cheering on the local baseball team as they limp towards another disappointing season.
Who are these fellas pitching tonight? TJ House is left handed, in his first Major League season, and his longest outing is 6.2 innings. Baseball-Reference tells me Kris Johnson has started two games for the Twins this season. I remember watching the games, but I'll be darned if I can recall anything about those games. Maybe Im scared by Ricky Nolasco giving up two out runs so many times this year.... I dont know.
Twins have a chance to even the series before moving on to Detroit.