Liriano faces Santana. A chance to see F-Bomb pitching for Gardy at the Bullseye again is compelling enough to watch/listen to a game started by a gasless Ervin Santana.
Is this thing on?
DAY Game ALERT!
FREE MLB.tv GAME OF THE DAY!!!!!!!!!
The pitching matchup we always wanted to see! Liriano v Santana!
Pitchers: PIT: Liriano (6-6 , 2.91 ERA) MIN: Not Johan (2-0 , 2.60 ERA)
RF Gregory Polanco (L)
LF Starling Marte (R)
CF A. McCutchen (R)
3B Aramis Ramirez (R)
SS Jung-Ho Kang (R)
2B Neil Walker (S)
DH Pedro Alvarez (L)
CF Cervelli (R)
1B Travis Ishikawa (L)
2B Brian Dozier (R)
CF Aaron Hicks (R)
1B Joe Mauer (L)
DH Miguel Sano (R)
RF Eddie Rosario (L)
3B Eduardo Nunez (S)
SS Eduardo Escobar (S)
C Kurt Suzuki (R)
Plouffe!'s on paternity leave so yeah.
The Twins posted a nice albeit oddly uncomfortable win in their first inter-league game of the season, carpet bombing the F-Bomb by scoring early and often on Pirate's starter and former Twin Francisco Liriano. Brian Dozier led off the Twins offensive attack with a solo homer in the first. In a wild six-run second inning, Suzuki started things off by scoring on a wild pitch. Trevor Plouffe capped the inning with a two-run blast that in between saw Joe Mauer drive in three runs with a bases-clearing single. The Twins ended their scoring in the third when Suzuki crossed home on a ground-ball double play off the bat of Robinson. With eight on the board and a seven run lead after three, it seemed like the game was in the bag, but this is baseball and there would be cause for concern before this one ended.
The Pirates got on the board in the bottom of the second when Jose Tabata sort of singled on a two-out ground ball that Dozier should have handled to end the inning but didn't, allowing Jung Ho Kang to score from third base. The Bucs added another run in the fourth inning when Pedro Alvarez literally boated a blast off Nolasco over the right-field wall and into a docked runabout. With two runners in scoring position and one out in the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates chalked another run on a 6-3 putout off the bat of Kang, driving in Neil Walker. Nolaco gave up another run in the sixth inning when Walkers double to right field with runners on the corners scored Josh Harrison. With Aaron Thompson relieving in the seventh, Marte scored the last Pirate run on a Harrison single.
Damn near a quarter of the way through the season, the Twins find themselves in fairly unfamiliar territory, holding third place a half game behind the Tigers and just three games the behind division-leading Royals. I have to admit that I'm enjoying the ride so far, even as I wonder how long the engine will hold up when it's sort of low on oil and coolant, and the gas gauge is broken so I'm not sure if we're going to run out of fuel next week or next month, and at least a couple of the tires are nearly bald and could blow out any time now. There are problems with this team's pitching and defense (Danny Santana has ten of the Twins' 25 errors this year, contribution greatly to his team-low -0.7 WAR) but so far the offense has been good enough to get us where we are - five games above .500 and averaging 4.5 runs per game with a +2 differential. It ain't exactly championship caliber, but it's good enough to make things interesting and keep the puppy photographers in business for the time being.
STL at PITT 3:30
ATL at LAD after that
Liriano gets the start for the Bucs
Francisco Liriano was probably my favorite post-Santana pitcher, Kevin Slowey excepted. If Johan brought me back to baseball after taking a couple of years off Frankie made me pretty nuts about baseball again. 2006, I think we can all agree, was just about the most magical season for the Twins since 91. No Twins team grabbed the attention of Minnesota fans and made them care like that team.
Report from Baseball-Reference.com.
Look at those numbers. Dude was incredible.
And now he plays for the White Sox.
Tonight's game is going to be probably one of the stranger games I will have watched in the past few years. Seeing Frankie dressed in those awful grey and black colors, hearing Stribbie's boo him like he was Joe Mauer, knowing that he is going to make Morneau look like Adam Everett at the plate. It is going to be weird.
Frankie, it was good to know you. If it wasn't for you in 2006 I probably wouldn't have been so nuts about this team that I would have started google-ing Twins blogs, lurking around some of them (Will Young and this new wpa stat, Seth and his access to minor league players, Gleeman doing Gleeman stuff, and Batgirl being super fun) until I found one that had all of that in one place that I just couldn't resist from posting on any longer.
Thanks again Frankie, because of you I am here. Now leave some sliders hanging for your old pals, will ya?
Twitter is abuzz late the Saturday evening as the Twins trade Fransisco Liriano to the White Sox (of all teams) for minor leaguers Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernadez.
Escobar is a SS and Hernandez is a LHP
First Pitch - 7:10 p.m. CDT
Television - FSN
When you search the internet for images, you get a lot different results with "white socks" than you do with "white sox". But you might want to set your search engine filters accordingly if you search on "white stockings".
If there's a better way to wrap up this round of interleague play than by taking on our most universally despised divisional rival, the Chicago White Sox, I don't know what it is. Oh, wait. Yes I do. Sweeping a series against said Sox would be better. Much better.
The Pale Hose are coming off a weekend that saw them move into first place in the division and acquire Kevin Youkilis from Boston for Brent Lillibridge, Zach Stewart and some cash. Youkilis is expected to be starting at third base tonight, where he will be frequently mistaken for Yukon Cornelius.
ON THE HILL
Francisco Liriano: 1-7, 5.74 ERA, 69 ERA+, 4.36 FIP, 4.18 xFIP, 0.5 WAR
Jake Peavy: 6-3, 2.74 ERA, 155 ERA+, 3.25 FIP, 4.07 xFIP, 2.5 WAR
The Twins go for their first three-game sweep of the season today, right?
Ryan Dempster, who's on pace to have the best year of his career (though he only has one win...the poor guy's offense won't help him) faces Francisco Liriano, who is not, but has come back strong. Not that any of us ever know which version of him to expect.
Winners of 9 of their last 11, the Twins are now 24-34, which is bad, but certainly doesn't put them at some embarrassing outlier. I can live with that for now.