Alright, boys, you have one goal tonight.
Kohl Stewart makes his 2019 debut trying to win the rubber game of the series. He brings a 6.00 ERA from Rochester, most it it from his previous start. He surrendered six runs over 4.1 innings.
Verlander meanwhile is lossless and continuing his late career resurgence into 2019. After a promising start to the series, I'm feeling less confident about winning it now. But now is as good a time as any to break that lack of losing streak!
The Twins are tied for fourth place, a half game behind the third place Royals. The Tigers have increased their division lead. I suspect it will be insurmountable when the Twins leave town. Insurmountable for the other three teams of course. It was impossible starting in mid-2011 for the Twins.
Verlander (13-12, 3.66 ERA) vs. Pelfrey (5-13, 5.34 ERA).
This only ends one way.
First Pitch—3:10 p.m. Central
Probable Starters—Justin "Cy" Verlander vs. Vance "Can't Dance" Worley
Probable Outcome—Try not to think about it too much
“Awright, ladies!” Ron Gardenhire bellowed as he stuck his head inside the clubhouse door. “Stick your cups in your pants and hit the field, batting practice starts in five minutes!”
Inside, the entire Twins’ 25-man roster stood in a somber circle at the center of the room. Gardenhire walked over and nudged his way inside the group, only to see a battered old steamer trunk sitting on the floor.
“So it finally got here,” the manager muttered as he rubbed his whiskered chin. “About damn time, too.”
It's Linds and I's fifth anniversary today, so we're going to be sitting right up close to the first base line for this one. The good news is that we'll get to see one of the best pitchers in the major leagues, the bad news is that he'll be pitching against us.
Justin Verlander takes on (digs hand in starting rotation box and pulls out random slip of paper) P.J. Walters.
Oh, yeah. This should be wonderful.
It's the last Saturday game of the year. I expect this game log to be packed when I get home.
Happy Independence Day!
Last night was fun; let us hope that today will be better!
The Mountie is taking tonight off.
- Doumit (DH)
("Man this team is bad" joke)
(half-hearted statistical analysis detailing just how bad things have gotten)
(oh, wait... we're batting against Verlander today? We're even more out of luck than usual.)
(Make 190-pitch complete game joke.)
(threaten to volunteer to do house work with the wife instead of watching game, only to chicken out later because the work she's got planned sucks, and bad baseball is better than no baseball until the 8th inning when we've only got ONE FREAKING RUN AGAIN)
(Delmon Young joke)
(snarky condolences to anyone who watches the game)
I mean, if the Twins can phone it in, why can't I?
Alright, you guys are going to have to bare with me for a little bit here. I am going to try to crunch some numbers and see if I can find a way for the Twins to make up the 10.5 game deficit currently between them and first place.
While I understand the caveats of a small sample size, it is difficult to argue with cold hard numbers. One such case of ignoring sample sizes has to be the result of the Twins scoring 9 runs in every single game that Delmon Young has never been a member of the Twins this season. Conversely, the Twins have allowed only 6 runs in each and every game played since they traded Delmon. Considering the Tigers had a team ERA of 4.25 before the Delmon trade, I feel comfortable saying the Delmon has made the Tigers 1.75 runs worse per game.
So, at this point the next natural thing to do was to go through the previous 121 games, see how many games the Twins would have won if they scored 9 runs and allowed 1.75 less runs the scoreboard reflected. I will then take that winning percentage, apply it to the rest of the season and see if it puts the Twins in position to win the Central.
This would put the Twins record at 112-9. Over the course of a full season that translates of a winning percentage of .925. This would give the Twins 37.02 wins over the remaining 40 games. We will round this down to 37 wins (to be realistic), putting the Twins final tally over the last 40 games at 37-3.
Assuming all of this elm'n-less math to be true this will put the Twins at 90 wins for the 2011 campaign. Not too shabby. Now how about the other teams? Seeing as how the Tigers are still yet to win a game while employing Delmon I think it is safe to figure they will continue to lose every game the rest of the season. With the Twins winning 90 the Tigers will be pretty far behind with only 64 wins.
As for the other teams the Twins have to pass, pfft, it is AMR's White Sox and the lowly Indians. Neither of those teams should prove too much trouble as the Twins cruise to their 7th division title in 10 years.
Man, this is going to be an awesome couple of months.
Tonight, the Twins play the first of four against the scarier of the two not-scary-to-any-other-divisions-out-there Central division leaders. Of course, the home field advantage is nullified by the pitching matchup:
Carl Pavano 6-6, 130 IP, 3.88 K/9, 1.73 BB/9, 4.08 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 4.12 xFIP, 1.6 WAR
Justin Verlander 12.5, 157 IP, 8.77 K/9, 1.89 BB/9, 2.29 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 2.96 xFIP, 4.7 WAR
You know, now that Pavano's numbers are starting to look not so bad, it's cruel that I have to set them up against Verlander's ludicrous numbers. Well, Pavano walks 0.16 fewer guys per nine innings. That's something, right? Guys?
This one could get frustrating for the hitters, but hey, Kubel might be back tomorrow, and Verlander isn't all that likely to pitch in back-to-back games, as durable as he is.
Go Twins! Bunt early, bunt often. Get Verlander tossed!