As I announced two weeks ago, in honor of the doubleheader today's View from the Ballpark will be a different kind of challenge - replicating the view via your mapping tool of choice. Click through for the recaps and the picture clue.
Let's hope the Genie in the Lamp grants us three wishes for game two.
1) Fausto Carmona is Fausto Carmona
2) Scott Diamond can do a "David Huff in Game 1" impression
3) Dongers. Lots of dongers for the good guys.
According to the Yahoo preview, the Twins have now attained "surging" status, having won 12 of 16 to threaten to be a factor in the AL Central race.
This game matches up a guy who has a mug shot, but has yet to appear in a Major League game this year, vs. a guy who has no mugshot but has been the darling of the local media for being Not Kevin Slowey.
Huff has thrown 100 1/3 innings in 17 starts at AAA in 2011, with underimpressive peripherals (63:28 K:BB) but impressive outcomes (3.86 ERA, 4.01 FIP). He's a big-ish (6'2", 215 lbs) lefty with a mediocre fastball and a mix of other pitches. In 2009-10 with the Indians, he went 13-19 over 208 innings, with a 5.84 ERA, 5.12 FIP and 5.19 xFIP. Chosen in the supplemental round in 2006 out of UCLA, he doesn't quite qualify as a Jeremy, but he's close.
Stompsnake has bounced back and forth between the big club and Rochester this year, putting up good results despite missing few bats (19:11 K:BB in 40 innings with the Twins, 25:7 in 32 1/3 in Rochester). Hopefully he brought his smoke and his mirrors in his suitcase from upstate New York. In his last appearance for the Twins, on July 10, he held the White Sox to one run on four hits and two walks over six innings, striking out five.
It's a great day to play two, but it would be really nice if Songsack managed to go the distance in this one. How 'bout we get him some runs, boys?
Fun fact: Cleveland is 7-2 against the Royals, 6-10 against the rest of the division, including 1-4 against the Twins.
Weather: 83°F, clear
Wind: 9 mph
- Highest WPA, hitter: Tolbert .246 (2-4, R, 2 RBI, SO) | Highest WPA, pitcher: Mijares .104 (0.2 IP)
- The Twins have now managed to string five wins together for the first time this season.
- The Twins drafted a college middle infielder.
- Lowest WPA, hitter: Casilla, -.088 (0-4, GIDP) | Lowest WPA, pitcher: Baker, .067 (7.0 IP, 9 H, 2 HR, 3 ER, 5 K, HBP)
- Despite drafting a middle infielder, the Twins will still be rostering Tolbert & Casilla for the foreseeable future.
There typically hasn't been much chatter about the actual games in the Monday morning recaps, but just because I run View from the Ballpark that doesn't mean talk about the actual game isn't welcome. Then again, this is the first time that the Twins won on a Monday since the Monday after the Big Move, way back at Game 16. So, if you have observations about last night's break from the trend, do share them.
Here's this week's View from the Ballpark:
Though I never was able to attend a game here, this was one of my favorite ballparks in all of baseball. A substantial part of the park actually still exists, but unfortunately has been pitched to the needs of a radically different tenant, erasing a few of the signature elements I really loved about the place, such that the view from this spot no longer exists.
photo by Flickr user Curtis Cronn
Remember, no embiggening.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are 13-4 since May 20, when they began a three-game sweep of our boys (and 18-5 back to May 14. I just wanted to point that out, because through April, the Snakes were 28th in MLB in FIP (just ahead of the Twins) and 26th in pitching WAR (the Twins were dead last). Now Arizona is in the hunt in the NL West, a half-game back of SF, thanks to much improved pitching (they were middle-of-the-pack in FIP, xFIP and pitching WAR in May).
The Twins ride into Cleveland on the wings of a four-game sweep of the Landed Gentlemen. Not exactly the 1927 Yankees there, but a feel-good weekend nonetheless. But if the Twins are going to make a move, now is the time to get it started, with a series win against the surprise division leaders.
Scott Baker (3.86 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 3.65 xFIP, 66:23 K:BB, 10 HR in 67 2/3)
Josh Tomlin (3.27 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 3.86 xFIP, 41:11 K:BB, 11 HR in 71 2/3)
Tomlin, a righty, has been riding the tiger in Cleveland. He's 7-2, thanks in significant part to best-in-the-majors run support (7.91 r/g), a .213 BAA and unsustainable .213 BABIP, despite not missing very many bats and having given up HRs at the same pace as our boy Scotty. He throws a pedestrian 2-seam fastball, cutter, curve and changeup and recently has been compared unfavorably to Phil Humber. If only we had some healthy, left-handed sluggers to put in the lineup against this Cinderella Story.... Go,
Red Wings Rock Cats!!!111one111!!!
If the Twins had somehow lost this one, I was seriously considering whipping up a Downfall parody video in which ol' Adolph would have cursed the days of birth of Alexi Casilla, Steve Liddle, and whichever pitcher ended up coughing up the lead. Thankfully I can save that one in the DK Box of Tricks for some later date.
Things are starting to look up (he says, hopefully). First series win of the season; first series sweep (basically) of the season. The offense is starting to pick up; Thome made contact today that sounded like it deserved eight total bases, but only got three. Meanwhile, Pavano keeps on Pavanoing. Next stop: .500 (he says, again, hopefully).
Hitter of the Week: Jason Kubel
Pitcher of the Week: You think, when a guy gives up zero runs, only one walk, and strikes out nine, I'm going to give it to anyone else? It's again yours, Scott Baker.
It's been a busy week. I think I have the core features in place now, so it's on to other things. Like how the site looks. That will have to come from someone else.
In the meantime, time for the best team in the AL to take on the near worst team in the league. Unfortunately, they aren't in the order I wanted at the beginning of the season.