What a difference a week makes.
Last week, as I wrote the game log, I was deeply concerned about the potential for a sweep -- and not the awesome kind we got treated to. The rotation is in tatters, all of the power hitters hurt or swinging wildly. We were going into a doubleheader armed with nothing but bullpen games.
And then, Saturday happened.
Now, it's all about getting ready for the Yankees. Wherever we end up facing them, the name of the game is putting this team in the best position to make it to the ALCS.
To that end, Berrios gets his penultimate warmup start tonight. I'm not expecting that he'll go very deep into the game. I'd hope that after six, they've got a big enough lead that they can give guys like Alcala and Hildenberger some face time.
They take on a Royals team that (shy of Soler) has basically folded for the year. The first two games have gone largely according to plan. Let's press on toward that sweep and, dare I say it, 103 wins.
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.
Happy Joe Nathan Day!
Hopefully, the home team will honor its best ever reliever (seriously, his 2006 in particular was insane -- Rivera never matched Nathan's 39 FIP-) by giving up a few obligatory baserunners, then utterly destroying all remaining batters on their way to a scoreless game.
Attempting that feat will be Kyle Gibson, and you know what? Good Gibby could accomplish that. In his 10 wins, he's been holding the opposition to a .544 OPS, coupled with a 2.44 ERA.
In his losses.... it's a .982 and a 7.52. I don't know for sure, but that's got to be up there in terms of game outcome splits. I still think he's your third starter in a playoff rotation, but I'd have Odorizzi standing by from the first pitch on.
Gotta stick with Cruz for a boomstick tonight.
Winning series’s against the likes of Tampa Bay, Houston ... even Cleveland (and eventually New York and Boston) is what I hope to see over the remainder of the season. That being said, I certainly don’t mind another mid-season series against the Kanas City-type teams in this league - non-ass-bats make watching the individual games more enjoyable and (when they handle their business) continues their pursuit of the big prize: securing playoffs games & winning series’s in October. That said, watching career years out of our 1A & 1B starters is certainly worth the price of admission.
Odorizzi vs. Sparkman
We start Joe Mauer Number Retirement Weekend with Purple Prince Twins Jersey Night at Target Field. Man, this is a good weekend for Minnesota stuff, isn't it? Prince and Mauer? Nice. Also, our town just got a Townball team, and they wear purple jerseys, and their first ever home game is tonight too. So this is one of those fate things, right? Gonna be a great weekend for Minnesota baseball.
Let's hope the team can get going on an actual winning streak here tonight. They're pitching Gibson, who didn't do so hot against KC when he faced them in April (4.2 innings, 5 earned runs in a game the Twins ultimately won 7-6). But that was April, and no one knew the Twins were the best team in baseball back then, so I expect the Royals will just lay down this time for Kyle.
Meanwhile, the Twins are going to be purple raining bombas all over the place, and hopefully everyone can just sit back, relax, and enjoy a beautiful Minnesota summer weekend. This is the good life.
So the Twins 2019 season has gotten off to a nice start with three strong pitching performances and taking two from the dreaded Clevelanders of Cleveland. Now the Twins travel on an extended road trip so that we can watch future games at Target Field in non-parka weather.
Jose Berrios on the mound tonight coming off a 7.2 inning, 2 hit, no run, 10k effort. More of that please. Twins play the Kansas City Royals who also won two of three at home from a division rival (White Sox). Brad Keller on the mound for the Royals who had similar numbers as Berrios in his first outing, but with half the strikeouts.
First pitch at 7:15p Central, weather should be pleasant with game time temps in the 50’s.
Twins pitchers should stop pitching to Salvador Perez. Unless they are intentionally trying to lose.
My heart has not been into this season. Dont get me wrong, I still love baseball more than all the other sports combined, but the Twins mediocre (at best) play, Byron Buxton and Joe Mauer missing chunks of the season due to injury, and a heavy workload for me has resulted in me missing a lot of games and me not really caring that I missed the games. Perhaps in 5 years I will quit all sports and not miss it. Jake "I missed out on being traded to a good team" Odorizzi for the Twins. Some dude named "Heath Fillmyer" throws for KC.
We better not allow another Drew Butera inside the parker this series.
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.