Cleveland looking to advance
Make Up for Tuesday's rainout!!!
Game two and three of a four game series at Yankee Stadium and the Twins just got a new scouting report in time for today's game: Don't groove a fastball right down the middle to Aaron Judge. Hopefully this gets disseminated to the pitching staff by 1:00 central.
First game includes new Twins pitcher Louie Varland. He's from Minnesota! Yay. Good luck on making your MLB debut at Yankees Stadium. Will definitely be something to tell the grandkids.
Game two has G. Cole pitching for the Yanks and he has 204 K's this year, most in the majors. Joe Ryan for the Twins and once again we will find out if it is good Joe or bad Joe. Hey Joe, read that scouting report about grooving fastballs to Aaron Judge.
People keep running on Jake Cave's arm
I put in to work the first game of the Yankees series but didn't get scheduled. Just as well, it was a downer of a game. Last night was much better, and televised in a manner that allowed me watch, a rarity these days. It was a mirror image of the first game, really, competitive until the later innings when one of the bullpens caved in. So far the hometown nine have held their own against the top of the AL East, winning the Toronto series on the road and facing a rubber game with the Yankees tonight to decide this series. We'll see what tonight and the weekend tilts against Tampa Bay hold, but so far we've gone toe-to-toe against the East and held our own. Taking two of three from the best team in baseball right now would make a real statement, and I'm hoping the Twins end this one with a bang, not a whimper.
Dylan Bundy, the Pride of Tulsa, takes the mound for the Gemini tonight. He's started nine games this year, winning three and losing three with no decision in three. His ERA stands at 5.57 and his WHIP at 1.45 so if he can give the team five innings and hold the Yanks to 2-3 runs I'd consider that a mostly successful outing. Gerrit Cole gets the start for the Yankees. He's good, he's always been good, a first-round draft pick twice over with a .656 career winning percentage. Cole is 5-1 in 11 starts this year with a 2.78 ERA (2.03 over his last 8 starts), 0.96 WHIP and 81 punch-outs in 65 innings pitched. And he's coming off one of the most dominant performances of his career. The ass-bats must be given no quarter tonight.
You hate to say it but the Yankees have been really good this year, especially its pitching:
Team ERA: 2.74, first
WHIP: 1.04, first
Opponent average: .210, first
Twins come in feeling pretty good about themselves after winning two of three in Toronto with a depleted staff and now some players coming back from the restricted list, Covid list, and injuries. It's not a full squad yet, but getting closer.
Jamison Taillon on for the Yankees and like the rest of the staff, he's been lights out this year. Looks like the Twins will use Cole Sands with his 7.88 ERA and 1.63 WHIP tonight. Maybe both pitchers can regress to the mean and we get a Twins victory.
First Pitch at 6:40
1B - Arraez
DH - Buxton
2B - Polanco
RF - Kepler
C - Sanchez
LF - Larnach
3B - Urshela
CF - Celestino
SS - Palacios
NEW YORK 5, MINNESOTA 2 IN NEW YORK
Date: Tuesday, June 9.
Batting star: Jim Holt was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Pitching stars: Bill Zepp pitched two shutout innings, giving up a walk.
Opposition stars: Bobby Murcer was 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base (his fifth), and two RBIs. Danny Cater was 2-for-4. Stan Bahnsen was 2-for-4. He also pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on four hits and four walks and striking out seven. Roy White was 2-for-5.
The game: The Yankees put men on first and third in the first inning but did not score. It looked like it would cost them, as the Twins scored two in the second. Harmon Killebrew led off with a walk, Holt hit a one-out double, and Leo Cardenas singled them both home, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.
New York matched the two runs in the bottom of the second, though. Ron Woods walked, Gene Michael singled, and Bahnsen had a bunt single, loading the bases with one out. Horace Clarke struck out, but Murcer delivered a two-run single, tying the score 2-2.
Cesar Tovar led off the third with a single-plus-error but was stranded at second. Paul Ratliff hit a two-out triple in the fourth but was also stranded. In the sixth, singles by Thurman Munson and John Ellis and a walk to Woods loaded the bases with none out. All the Yankees got out of it was a sacrifice fly by MIchael, but it was enough to put New York ahead 3-2. They added two more in the seventh when Murcer and White singled, moved up on a ground out, and scored on a fielder's choice-plus-error, giving the Yankees a 5-2 lead. The Twins did not get a hit after the fourth inning.
WP: Bahnsen (4-4).
LP: Jim Kaat (5-3).
Notes: Holt was in left field in place of Brant Alyea. Ratliff was behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald. The Twins made no position player substitutions.
Rod Carew returned to the lineup and was 0-for-3. He was batting .385. Tony Oliva was 0-for-4 and was batting .332. Killebrew was 0-for-2 and was batting .320.
Kaat was pitching in consecutive games, although with an off-day in-between. He didn't do terribly, but he wasn't great, either. He pitched six innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on twelve hits and two walks and striking out two. Bringing him in to pitch relief might not have been the best idea, although I'm sure he was more than willing to do it.
It's interesting how many times pitchers have shown up in the best batter lists lately. I'm all for the DH, but there were at least some pitchers who could hit back in the day.
We think of the Yankees of this era as being bad teams, but they were not bad in 1970. They were 93-69-1, and no, I did not check to see what happened that they had a tie. Presumably a rain-shortened game. But anyway, they had a very good team. They just weren't as good as Baltimore.
Record: The Twins were 34-16, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of California. Again, the difference was all in the loss column, as the Angels were 34-20.
Luis Gil vs John Gant
This is the makeup game for August 22.
Game already in progress.
Game Time - 6:05 p.m. CT
The Twins hit the road today to kick off a 4-game set with the Yankees on the heels of their most successful homestand of the year, winning all three series and going 6-3 against the White Sox, Rays, and Guardians. In three of the last four games, Twins wins came off the bat of Jorge Polanco, who delivered a sac fly and two base hits for walk-off victories. I would love to see the boys extend their winning ways on this road trip, but whenever we head to New York and that bandbox replica stadium, I take all of my expectations for winning, tie them up in a burlap bag, and drown them in the river.
After the game Tuesday night I rode an elevator with John Gant and what I assume is his wife or girlfriend (I don't really know his marital status). Players don't normally use that elevator so maybe he got lost in the tunnels or something, but I knew it was him by the name tag on his suitcase. Just to make some small talk I asked him how he liked Minnesota. He said he loves it so far. I replied with, "Well, we like your pitching. So far."
It sounds like Rocco is going with a bullpen game tonight with Gant getting the ball first. Since joining the team he's had six good outings and one bad one where he gave up five runs over two innings , but the man has strike-'em-out stuff and I'm happy to have him around. Even though I think of him as a relief pitcher, this will be Gant's 15th start this year, his most since 2018 when he started 19 games. He worked exclusively out of the bullpen in 2019 and 2020. I'm guessing he'll throw just a few innings tonight before passing the baton and hitting the shower. Jameson Taillon gets the ball today for New York. He's 7-4 in 23 starts on the season with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He strikes out about one batter per inning, and strikes out three hitters for every one he walks, so he's been pretty good. Play ball!
Here we go. Two division heavyweights who have been eyeing each other all season, waiting to see how they match up in perhaps an early playoff preview as they finally get to test their mettle against the best baseball has to offer....
Dang, I shouldn't prewrite these game logs in April apparently. Yankees in town and while we all are familiar with the Twins disappointments this year, the Yankees are only 2 games over 500, mired in 4th place in the AL East, also besot with injuries. Jordan Montgomery on the mound for the Yanks and he's okay I guess, but definitely the Twins can tee off on him a bit. Big Mike Pineda for the Twins coming off a pretty disappoint start last Tuesday.
Will be a steamy one at Target Field tonight but our good friend Twayn will be there making sure everyone is fully hydrated, finds their seat ok, and generally acts civil. Hey Twayn, it's ok if you give the old dude in a crisp Jeeter shirsey the twice over. Those guys are always trying to move into seats they didn't buy.
First pitch back at 7:10p. Let's go Twins!
RF - Garlick
DH - Donaldson
2B - Polanco
1B - Sano
C - Jeffers
LF - Larnach
CF - Refsynder
3B - Astudillo
SS - Simmons
More games! AL teams switch dugouts!
Marlins vs Braves, 1:08 p.m.
Pablo López vs Ian Anderson
Athletics vs Astros, 2:35 p.m.
Jesús Luzardo vs Jose Urquidy
Rays vs Yankees, 6:10 p.m.
Charlie Morton vs Masahiro Tanaka
Padres vs Dodgers, 8:08 p.m.
TBD vs Clayton Kershaw