Heading uphill in this roller coaster of a season, are the Twins still climbing or headed back down to another gully? First place Cleveland in town and Big Sexy on the mound. Should be fun.
Here we are again, another big series against the Clevelanders. Lets hope for a better result than last weekend.
Meija goes for the Twins. He was ok his last start, but it was cut short because of rain. Trevor Bauer for the C's. He was pretty good against the Twins on Sunday.
The Twins beat writers all tweet that Miguel Sano has a sinus infection and can come off the bench if needed.
After a 5-1 start, the Twins have now dropped 6 of 8, are 3-7 over their past 10 and are 7-7 (.500) overall. This record is tied with Cleveland for 3rd in the Central Division and 1.5 games behind first place Detroit. They're also a cool .500 at home and on the road, 4-4 and 3-3 respectively.
Today's Focus: Pitching
Young lefty, Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 4.05 ERA, 1.65 WHIP) takes the mound for the Twins this evening, having shown significant improvement in his second start last week against Chicago, giving up 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 4 (and walking 3).
Cleveland sends former 1st rounder (3rd overall) Trevor Bauer (0-2, 8.44 ERA, 1.59 WHIP) against the Twins who, after an unspectacular first outing against Arizona (5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER -- he did strikeout 7) followed with an even worse performance in Detroit on Friday (5.0, 8, 6, 6 w/ 6 SO).
Cleveland starters are last in MLB in ERA (5.86), 27th in WHIP (1.39) and tied for 2nd in Hits allowed (85). As a team, they're 28th in ERA (4.94), 23rd in WHIP (1.37) and 2nd in Hits allowed (131) ... so ... let's WAKE UP THE BATS!!!
Twins starters are 2nd in ERA (3.18) in MLB and 2nd in WHIP (1.06), and as a team, lead the majors in WHIP (1.04), sit in 2nd in the AL in ERA (2.98) and 3rd place overall. They're 29th in Hits allowed (95) but are tied for 27th in SO (93) ... so ... yay for good defense?
Also ... I have little hope that the Wild will win even 1 game, let alone their series against St. Louis. However, I hope they take heart and abide:
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do
Two can be as bad as one, it's the loneliest number since the number one... (Playing the Twins excepted)
One run, another loss. The Twins, inspired by their hockey cousins across the river, have scored just one run in four of their last seven games, including the last two, resulting in all losses. Clearly the mantra from the other side is “just score two boys, and we’ll be alright.” Given Cleveland’s early pitching woes, yesterday was especially frustrating.
Phil Hughes up against Josh Tomlin today at 7:10p. Even though it’s pretty rainy all day, things look to clear up this evening. Hopefully Twins bats emerge from the cloud as well.
Annnnnnnnd we're back! Here are a few things I am looking for in the back half of the season:
Will Joe Mauer finish + .275 batting average?
Will Brian Dozier hit 25+ home runs?
If he stays with the team, will Eduardo Nunez finish with more home runs than walks? (he has 12 of each)
Will the pitching be enough to not drive everyone batty?
Enjoy the games!
The Twins are 1-11 in their last 12 games. Yuck. The Twins are on a 7 game losing streak and thats not even their longest losing streak of the season. Yuck. The Twins are 5 wins behind the second worst team in the American League. yuck. Why am I still watching? Well I'd rather be golfing but its 40 degrees outside and the river has flooded wiping out some holes. So Its brutal baseball. Yuck.
Because of a work call and a prior engagement, I didnt see too much of this game. The part I saw was Mike Pelfrey have a complete meltdown after being given a 6-0 then 7-4 lead. I try not to be really hard on players, after all the are humans and me yelling at my tv or computer at them does zero good, but Mike Pelfrey has made me break that personal rule. He needs to be at least demoted to the pen, DFA or Waiver Claim trade would be ideal.
The Twins busted out the whoopin sticks tonight, 9 of their 15 hits were for extra bases. That is a welcome sight for fans getting used to the team scoring 1 run a night and barely mustering a hit attack.
Eddie Rosario hit two more triples tonight giving him 8 for the season. Surpringly, there have only been 19 other times in Twins history were a player hit at least 8 triples in a season. I thought it would be more.
Did Brian Dozier Score A Run? Yes, he score two runs giving him 78 for the year. Josh Donaldson leads the AL with 80, 65 of those scored against the Twins.
AJ Achter made his season debut tonight. He recorded 4 outs, all of them strikeouts. That is nice.
Trevor "Tony Fiore" May vultured another win. He has 8 on the season. If he was a starter and had 8 wins, the Twins tv crew would be singing his praises as a quality pitcher.
The last few years have seen the Twins free fall into the abyss after the All Star break. I would say it was one of the main reasons Ron Gardenhire lost his job. Can Paul Molitor steady the ship and avoid another 90 loss season?
Perhaps I am being too over dramatic. But getting bullied and bludgeoned by the Blue Jays the past week has brought up memories of years past. Limping in the Dog Days of Summer and then the Twins being out of the sports picture once football season starts is not the way I wanted this season to go.
The Twins will face the Clevelanders who traded away Nick Swisher and Micheal Bourn to Atlanta. Mike "Do we have to keep watching him pitch?" Pelfey throws for our guys. Cody Anderson throws for the other guys.
This game started with the current Cy Young Award winner pitching like one and ended with Blaine Boyer getting more outs than base runners allowed and a Trevor Plouffe HR to win the game. Baseball is fun!
Mike Pelfrey. He was a pretty poor sport about being sent to the bullpen during Spring Training. But, he just can't get past 5 innings. Does he not realize this? I know Im not breakingHe pitched OK today (5 innings, 1 run) but seemed to peter out by the 4th inning.
Corey Kluber had perfect game material. By the end of the 3rd inning, I thought it was going to happen. He got through the first 15 batter before Arcia got a solid single. Then TWINS BASEBALL happened. Wild pitch, then a single with a throwing error scoring Arcia, then a fielders choice, then a sac bunt (with Herrmann breaking for home, then going back to third when he realized he was going to be out Santana was safe at 1st) , then a wild pitch on strike 3 scores a run, then a IBB, then a double play to end the inning.
Things were pretty quiet after that, with a couple of situations arising but fires put out.
This game seemed destined to go about 15 innings and Chris Herrmann pitching his second inning and Torii Hunter catching but Trevor Plouffe ended it with a mammoth HR to left field and the locals win 3-2.
-According to b-r HR Tracker, this is Plouffe's first walk of HR.
- Plouffe has 9 career HR's against Cleveland. Only Kansas City (11) has given up more
-Plouffe has 37 career HRs at Target Field. That is the most. Shockingly, Jose Bautista does not have 52
-Joe Mauer was intentionally walked twice tonight. That gives him 117 for his career, which is 8th most active and tied for 86th all time (Larry Walker and Ron Cey)
-Blaine Boyer got a win today, his first as a Twin. Other notable Twins pitcher with 1 win include Vance Worley, Kyle Waldrop, Luis Ayala, RA Dickey, Jim Hoey, and a host of others.
The Twins are on a winning streak! Only two games but I'll take it.
Cy Young Award winning Corey Kluber throws for Cleveland. Since this years lineup is mostly the same as last year, lets go back and look what Kluber did against the Twins.
2014-09-21 @MIN W 8.0 7 2 2 1 14 0
2014-09-11 MIN W 8.1 8 2 2 0 7 0
2014-08-21 @MIN L 7.0 6 3 3 4 8 1
That jumbled mass of number says Kluber was very good against the locals. Mike Pelfrey goes for Minnesota. Lets hope he makes it at least 6 innings and keeps the run total low.