Ugh, Nolasco (3-1, 6.38 ERA, 4.85 xFIP) vs. F-Bomb (1-3, 2.96 ERA, 3.19 xFIP)
I am....not so confident in this matchup other than the fact that Nolasco gets to pitch against an NL team. I don't know, maybe it'll help make him less 'ugh' and more 'meh'?
I haven't paid much attention, but it looks like Liriano is generally pitching pretty well this year, striking dudes out all over the place. He does have a .215 BABIP, though, so he might be getting a bit lucky on the balls that make it out into the field. Hopefully that is the case and that average heads north a bit tonight.
In addition to a mid-season interleague matchup, the Wolves have their annual "playoff" tonight (7:30 on ESPN) in which they participate in a selection of ping-pong balls to determine which crappy team gets the good picks in the draft. This event will set off a solid month of speculating just which incorrect pick Flip will make. Should be fun!
I wonder if the Twins will consider retiring Bruce Chen's number when his playing days are over. Going by the eye test, he's the greatest pitcher the Major Leagues have ever seen. The boys definitely got Chenned last night.
On a positive note, Liriano looked pretty sharp again. I guess that means the front office can maybe move him for something. I don't know, I'll be sad to see him go. I hope he looks good while he's still in a Twins uniform.
I hope they can win the series tonight, but with Nic_ BBlac_bburn on the hill, I won't be holding my breath.
I just got this message from "ThaReal_elm_n":
Thome Watch continues. Younger and wussier players around him continue to wilt in the August heat, but the Masher keeps on keeping on. The Tiggers have pretty much pwned the Twins for the last year, having won 12 out of their last 13 against our boys.
F-Bomb (tRA+: 92, FIP: 4.53, xFIP: 4.41, fWAR: 0.8, 97:66 K:BB in 117 innings)
Rick Porcello (tRA+: 108, FIP: 3.92, xFIP: 4.00, fWAR: 1.9, 76:30 K:BB in 126 innings)
The 22-year old Porcello is having a solid season. Amongst the mortal starters on the Tiger staff, he leads the way in pRAA at +4.8 (Verlander is at +33.0, tied for 7th in the Majors; he's third in pitching rWAR). But the real strength of this club is the offense, which weighs in at +43.2 bRAA and is 5th in the A.L. in runs per game at 4.44 (Twins are 12th at 3.87 -- behind Oakland, for goodness sake). So, tell me again why they wanted _elm_n???
Porcello is a ground-ball inducing righty. The Twins have a lefty-heavy lineup, with no _elm_n and a questionable Cuddy.