Magic number is still 7.
Montgomery on the hill for Kansas City.
Gibson toes the rubber for Minnesota.
Playing Kansas City, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit in the final weeks of the season got me thinking. Every team in the American League Central has played in the World Series ... except Minnesota. Every team in the Central has made an appearance in the past 15 years (though the only teams to win it
was were Kansas City in 2015 and Chicago in 2005) and in the entire league, only Seattle has seen a longer absence from the ALCS than Minnesota, by 1 year (Milwaukee, who made the NLCS last year, last reached the ALCS in 1982).
Not to put the cart before the horse - gotta win the game, then the division, then (lord willing) the league first - but I’d say Minnesota is due.
The Twins come back home after a 5-1 road trip, most recently off their first four game sweep in Texas. While the road treated them well, the home stadium has been less inviting as of late; the Twins have dropped 5 out of their last 6 at Target Field.
Coming into town are the White Sox, who just lost 3 out of 4 in Anaheim. Crossing fingers for the Twins to extend the B-Sox's recent road woes. Hopefully Good Gibby will face off against Ivan Nova, who's been white hot lately (ba dum tss!).
This is the Battle for the AL Central (lead)
Perhaps the biggest series of the season (so far)
Make or Break?
Do or Die?
Win or Go Home?
All or Nothing?
Sink or Swim?
Now or Never?
Put Up or Shut Up?
is it just, "one game at a time"?
we shall see!
The Twins’ AL Central lead is down to 4 games, and for the second time in as many weeks, the Twins get to face the hard-charging A’s (55-41, 2nd in the West, 4.5 games in back of Houston, 8-2 in their last 10) while Cleveland (also 8-2 over their past 10 games) are looking to complete a sweep of the terrible Gardy’s (Detroit). CLE took 3 out of 3, June 21-23 & have won the first 3 of their current 4-game series ... yeah.
I’m going to focus on the pitcher tonight because the professionals on the offensive side of the equation have had their game scrutinized sufficiently over the 1st half. Though maybe they wouldn’t mind getting back to the April/May Twins as opposed to the last months-worth of games (scoring 5 or fewer runs 16 times in 24 games for a record of 13-11).
“Fun” statistical coincidence(?) and the perfect example of the
mediocrity average baseball we’ve been seeing recently...
Last 10: 5-5
Last 20: 10-10
Last 30: 15-15
In his last start, Gibson managed to secure only 11 outs against Cleveland (July 12) before giving way to the bullpen in a game the Twins came back and win 5-3. Gibby is having a slightly better year numbers-wise than his career averages, but I’d certainly appreciate it if we see a start more in line with his June 14 blanking of the Royals - 8 IP, 2 H, 6 SO. I’d even take a start like his last winning performance against the Rays on June 25th: 4 ER on 7 H, with 7 SO scattered over 7 innings. We’ll see.
I was working in the video studio recording graduation last night, so I only saw the last inning of the game. It was a good inning to watch.
Like Jeff A, I haven't totally figured out the pattern for Rocco's bullpen usage, other than it seems that Taylor Rogers is probably the only reliever he trusts 100%. That's probably wise, as Rogers is obviously the best in the pen by a fair margin, but I sort of worry about overuse. It would be nice to get one more very good-to-elite arm out there, or for May or someone else to truly step up to the point where Rocco feels confident putting him out there in late and close against top teams.
Hopefully, we get Good Gibson and the bat's come out furious against Yonny Chirinos, a person I've never heard of, who has nonetheless put up a pretty solid season so far.
That ends today. Let's go, Twins!
Also... Burn the Trop to the ground. What a horrible stadium.
I believe that this is the end for Joe Mauer's time as a major league ball player.
Continue reading Game 161: white Sox @ twins
Boston is a good team vs. this is how we baseball ...
Anyone want to hazard a guess on the over/under this is the final Gibson start for the hometown 9?
At least we should see another half-dozen Mauer doubles off the Green Monster this weekend.
...AKA "16 games or < until No-Doz(ier)."
Gibson looks to take advantage of the Fountain of Pitching Goodly that is the Baltimore lineup.
Hopefully, he successes!
I'm at the cabin, therefor the game log will be entirely unbaked.
!Day Game Alert!
The Twins haven't scored a ton of runs, but their differential is not as jaw-dropping as I'd expected to see. Competent-to-Good pitching helps I guess. If this team can stay within a half-dozen games of first, I'd love to see them add some offense before the deadline. I'd even be happy with the return of second-half-2017 Dozier, Morrison, Buxton & Polanco with a little Santana (and eventually Sano ... hopefully sometime later this summer?) sprinkled in.
Anyway, Boston's legit, and no matter the outcome of today's game (Good Gibson v. Porcello ... yeah), I'm encouraged by the Twins' play against 'em. Add some offense and a continued mediocre run by Cleveland and this team may still be competing in late August.