Tag Archives: Kansas City Royals

Game 38. Twins hosting Royals.

It may be cloudy, a bit damp, and chilly but we got baseball tonight! (tomorrow is a maybe). The Twins salvaged a win out of the Rockies series and they are 5-5 in the last 10 game. But, still in first place!

Hector Santiago goes for the Twins.  He was not good against Cleveland hopefully that was just a blip and not a trend. Nate Karns pitches for the Royals. He has 10+ strikeout in his last two outings.

 

Game 22. Twins at KC 7:15pm.

The Twins travel to Kansas City for a weekend series. The weather tonight looks fine for baseball, but rain chances Saturday and Sunday.

Is the the last stand for Kyle Gibson? LaVelle E Neal III seems to think so.

Maybe Gibson need a change of scenery?  Or maybe he would be better suited for a bullpen role since he can't seem to make it twice through a batting order (Gibson's career slash line for 2nd time through the order: .296/.356/.472/.827 yikes!)

The Royals have Ian Kennedy starting. They are scuffling right now, going 2-8 in their last 10 games.

 

Game 2: Kansas City at Minnesota

Starting the season with a win, as opposed to the recent standard "L" is so much fun, I was disappointed the Twins didn't play yesterday. Instead, I watched the Wild clinch home ice for the playoffs and the Timberwolves hang with the  Warriors for about 2 quarters before the Splash Brothers blew the thing up.

So, with limited optimism for this season, and with the understanding that Spring Training results mean next-to-nothing, basically all I have to point to today will be historic results.*

The last time the Twins opened the season with a win, 2008, they proceeded to lose the next three games in a row. After 10 games, they were 5-5 and ended the season at 89-74, good for 2nd in the Central (losing Game 163 to Chicago ... booo!)

The last time they won multiple games out of the gate was a decade ago - 2007 - when they won 3, had a couple days off, lost a game and then basically traded wins & losses on their way to a 6-4 start. They went 79-83 and finished 3rd in the Central.

In 2010, the Twins lost their opener, and then pulled off 5 wins in a row, and 7 wins out of the first 10 games. They finished the season with 8 losses in the last 10 games. They still won the Central, but were swept by the Yankees in the LDS and have not returned the playoffs since.

Whatever - I certainly like the idea of a 2-0 start to an 0-2 start. Though I'd argue the Twins are pitching-poor if Hector Santiago is your #2 starter, I certainly wouldn't mind if he can get back to the 2015 version of himself (32 games started, 180.2 IP, 8.1 SO/9, 3.59 ERA, 105 ERA+, 1.256 WHIP).

The Royals counter with Ian Kennedy on the mound.

*Historic results also mean nothing ... but what else am I going to talk about?

Game 4: Minnesota @ Kansas City. 7:10pm

The Twins are the only American League team without a win.  This is not cool, but at least the losses were not shutouts like last year.

Last night,  Joe Mauer hit his 120th career HR. Maybe this is the year he hits the 15-20 that will maybe silence some of the "Joe Mauer never hits HRs" critics. I hope he hits 80.

Ervin Santana will start for the Twins. He had a handful of pitched Opening Day before being pulled out of the game due to a long rain delay. Yordano Ventura starts for the Royals.

I predict the Twins will get their first victory of the season.

Game 162: One and Done

It is with a heavy heart that I post today's Game Log, the final of the 2015 season. At 83-78,* the Twins are 13 wins better than at this point last year and will finish 2nd in the AL Central, 7th-best record in the AL. As recently as Friday, I was confident the local nine would have at least one additional, meaningful game this year, which is quite a few more than anyone expected when they opened in Detroit on April 6. Couple of things to pass along:

"The curtain came down so to speak, but it was a pretty good show," manager Paul Molitor said. "Some of the acts were a little sketchy at times and we tried to move on to the next scene."

Torii Hunter after loss: "This could be my last game..."

The Royals can still lock up home field advantage with a win today, so I don't expect them to let off the gas. Midseason acquisition Johnny Cueto (great before the trade deadline, okay-to-bad for most of July & August) goes for Kansas City. He's cleaned things up a bit, posting a 3.60 ERA in his past three starts.

Despite spending big bucks by adding some arms over the past few years, the Twins rotation is still a work in progress. Ricky Nolasco will start today, his first start since the last day of May. Makes sense to me - showcase him for a trade, or convince yourself that he's back and ready to contribute in 2016, either way, Nolasco was not good this year. Pelfrey was not good. Hughes was not good. Milone was up & down ... not bad, per se, but not good either. Santana was good for a few starts, then he wasn't, then he was. Gibson was the Twins best pitcher this year. I agree with Patrick:

"...the Twins screwed up when they took Trevor May out of the rotation on July 1 and put him in the bullpen. The odds would have been much better of maintaining the competence of the rotation with May taking his turn.
-Reusse

I am excited for next year, though for now I'm feeling a bit sad. Hopefully we'll see Kepler's first start, Buxton in Center, Sano at Third and a pinch-hit homerun from ii so he can tip his cap and feel like he left it all on the field.

*An 84-78 season last year would have put the Twins in 4th place in the AL Central and tied for 8th in the American League ... to further quote Reusse:

This was a year when mediocrity ruled the second level of the American League, and that had more to do with the Twins’ status as a contender than an indication this was a team waiting to explode into excellence.
...
The Twins will finish with the seventh-best record among 15 AL teams. The candid opinion here is they are closer in talent to the three or four teams behind them than the five making up the AL’s playoff field.

Game 137: Twins 6, Royals 2

The Twins scored first in the 1st with a homerun by Aaron Hicks, his 10th of the season. KC came back to tie it at one in the home-half of the 1st, and didn't score another run until the 7th. Between those two runs, the Twins added five more, with Eduardo Escobar notching 3 hits, 3 RBI's, a 2B and a walk. Since taking over as the primary SS at the end of July, Escobar is slashing .313/.375/.565 with 19 extra base hits, 18 RBI and a 1.548 WPA. Nice.

Also kinda fun - with his homerun yesterday, Hicks is the 5th Twins player with double-digit homeruns this year, and Rosario (9), Escobar (9) and Mauer (8) are all within striking distance.

Also showing up to play was pitcher Tommy Milone who went 7 innings, allowing only 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 4. After a rather average August (1-1, averaging only 5.1 innings per start and 2.6 ER's per start) Tommy has now put together back-to-back 7 inning starts in September, earning his 7th & 8th wins of the season and dropping his ERA to a career best 3.54.

Minnesota is 6-4 over their past 10 games, 1.5 behind Texas for the 2nd Wild Card spot (and 2 games ahead of the Angels).