There's no business like Sano business.
PELFRY V MEDLEN
One Tommy V Two Tommy
Read JeffA's recap from the last game. It serves as a better intro than I can come up with. Though I heard Sano was taking grounders at third...
Can we take a mulligan?
Last night's win got Minnesota back over .500, within a game and a half of the 2nd Wild Card spot and only a half-game behind Baltimore, one of the three teams ahead of them in that race. At this point, the Twins are not likely going to catch Kansas City for the Central, and are five and a half behind Toronto for the first Wild Card spot. If they can pass Baltimore, they're still chasing LAA and Texas, and have a series with Tampa this week who they're currently neck-and-neck with. Despite some misgivings about management's plan for the club, it sure is fun when they actually look like a real, live MLB team.
Today sees the Twins' most pleasant surprise pitching-wise, Mike Pelfrey (6-7, 3.62 ERA - 2.25 ERA in four August starts) facing off against up-and-coming Baltimore pitcher Kevin Gausman (2-5, 4.48 ERA). A win today results in both a series and season sweep of the O's. Git 'er done
Trevor May comes out of the pen and gets the W on a walk-off single by Kurt Suzuki after the winning run is intentionally walked ... never thought I'd utter that phrase, especially considering how the fellas have been playing of late. Oh, BTW, it was all started by Miguel Sano's double on the first pitch of the 9th. SO. MUCH. FUN. ... oh yeah, there's a game today.
Today's matchup features two starters I didn't think would still be with their respective clubs after the non-waiver trade deadline.
Hisashi Iwakuma: 5.10 ERA, 2-2, 37k's, 1.26 WHIP
Mike Pelfrey: 3.92 ERA, 5-7, 53 k's, 1.46 WHIP (3-7 in his last 10 with his ERA rising nearly 1.5 runs, but only averaging 3.2 ER's per start during that span... only.)
Padre’s been telling us that it’s tough to beat the good teams, as evidenced by the recent string of losses to the Royals, Rangers and Cardinals. They showed some resolve and, for the second consecutive day, the Twins beat the team with the best record in baseball; their first back-to-back wins in two weeks.
They did it in pretty dramatic fashion, with Kenny[silent s] Vargas blasting a walk-off homerun with 2 outs in the 9th off of Carlos Villanueva (entered with a 0.75 ERA in 24 innings with only 1 previous HR allowed). It was especially nice to see as Vargas had hit into two double plays in the game, including a bases loaded double play to end a Twins threat in the 7th.
Before that it was Joe Mauer - with a stick - ripping his 3rd homerun of the season to the left field bleachers to tie the game at 1-1 with 2 outs in the 8th. Joe is second on the team with 36 RBI. The two teams combined to go 0-9 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 11 men on base. Arguably, the most important part of this game was the starting pitching performances, though neither starter would figure in the decision.
Jaime Garcia stymied the Twins batters for 6 innings, allowing only 4 hits while striking out 4. After the first two Twins reached to start the inning, Matheny then LaRussa’d the crap out of 7th, 8th & 9th, using 5 different relievers. Villanueva took the loss.
After a 3.2 inning appearance his last time out; an 8 run, 11 hit affair in Arlington last week, Mike Pelfrey (5-3) today returned to his 2015 form with 8 strong innings. He allowed only 1 run on four hits including a double to Matt Carpenter and a 7th inning homerun to Jason Heyward while striking out 3 and walking just 1. In doing so, he dropped his ERA back below 3 (2.97), best amongst Twins starters. Pelfrey is currently sporting the best* ERA+ (127) and WHIP (1.358) of his career. He has allowed only 5 HR’s this year, including the one to Heyward this afternoon.
Blaine Boyer continues his zombie act, wiggling out of a 9th inning jam after a leadoff double by Matt Carpenter and groundout put the go-ahead run 90 feet away. He struck out Mark Reynolds and got Yadier Molina to fly out to end the threat. In 31 innings this season, Boyer is 2-2 with a 2.32 ERA, 175 ERA+ and 1.097 WHIP, also the best numbers of his career.
*He did manage a 169 ERA+ in 2012, but only started 3 games before being shut down to have TJ surgery.