I'm guessing I know how this poll will skew, but:
Liriano vs. TBD*
Opener/Primary or Starter. It may not matter much - Twins bullpen gonna "baseball" like Twins bullpen - For Sept.: sporting a 5.20 ERA & 1.415 WHIP and their lowest SO/BB of any month this season at 1.98.
In other "news" ... as I told eschapp, "I hope this isn't the end."
- Mauer trails Puckett by only 00.1 in career Offensive WAR (52.9 to 53 & 4th and 3rd respectively) in Twins** history,
- Mauer trails Eddie Yost by only .001 in career OBP (.388 to .389 & 5th and 6th respectively) in Twins** history.
*Drafted on Wed., so this is probably determined by now.
All your doubles are belong to Joe!
WE ARE BACK FROM BREAK! Yes!!!!! I predict these three things:
1. Joe Mauer will hit at least 3 home runs from now until seasons end.
2. Jose Berrios will pitch at least 1 more shut out.
3. The front office will make a trade that everyone hates, but will end up being a great thing for the team.
The Twins kick off their 2018 Central Division campaign against a young Chicago squad, (losers of 7 of their last 9 games). They went 11-7 against the 67 win club a year ago, the first under coach Rick Renteria. Renteria and GM Rick Hahn are likely hoping that trades of Sale, Eaton*, Quintana, Kahnle, Robertson and Cabrera in 2016 & '17 will begin to bear fruit.
*Today's starter for the Sox, Lucas Giolito was part of the Eaton trade with Washington. The 23-year-old has walked 7 and given up 8 runs in 11 2/3 innings to start the year, but as a former 1st round pick (#16 overall in 2012) with decent minor league numbers (3.18 ERA, 1.248 WHIP, 9.6K/9 in 497 IP over 6 seasons), and good numbers in his (limited) MLB appearances last year (7 starts, 45.1 IP, 2.38 ERA, 181 ERA+, 4.94 FIP, 0.949 WHIP), the boys should not take him lightly.
Opposing Giolito will be the Twins' José Berríos, their very own 23-year-old , former first rounder (#32 overall in 2012). With great numbers during 6 years in the minors (2.77 ERA, 1.075 WHIP, 9.6K/9 in 591 IP), it's safe to say that the big club has high expectations for the young Puerto Rican. Berríos started 25 games for the Twins in 2017, going 14-8 with a 3.89 ERA, 113 ERA+, 3.84 FIP and 1.229 WHIP. He accumulated 139 SO in 145.2 Innings Pitched and averaged 3 BB per 9. In 2018, José has already notched a win in his first career Complete Game, and been knocked out after 4 2/3 innings (5 ER on 6 Hits) in an 11-4 loss to Seattle. Excited to see which version we get in what may be the only "nice" game of the series.
I'll leave you with this: 1,998 - not too far off 2,000. I'm hoping some Citizen is able to bring us a in-person, personal clip of this momentous occasion.
So. Anyone for another Berrios shutout? Yeah. That would be swell.
Day game alert!
Finishing at .500 would not be considered a success this year, would it? With that being the case, I wonder if we get 424 comments today?
With Mauer closing in on 400 doubles, I've been starting to wonder whether he can break the franchise record. He needs 18 to pass Kirby for most doubles in a Twins uniform, but he has a long way to go to catch Sam Rice at 479. I can't imagine Joe playing in any other uniform, so I hope we get to do another countdown like this in 2019.
This is a big series. Cleveland and Minnesota are tied for first place,w ith the Twins having two games in hand, a sweep could make some room at the top. The Twins have the perfect pitcher to continue a long win streak with Ervin Santana. Josh Tomlin starts for the C's. He is coming off his best start of the season (7ip 1r)
Fun fact! With his next run scored, Joe Mauer will reach 900 for his career. He is 5th on the all time Twins list, and only 4 behind Kent Hrbek. If Mauer is helathy and plays all of next year he might be able to catch Kirby (1071) and Harmon (1076 in his Twins years)