Here's hoping for one of those patented bounceback wins from the Twins today. Berríos is on the mound today, so hopefully the keys are in the hands of the right driver. Not that starting pitching has really been the issue lately...
!Day Game Alert!
The Twins haven't scored a ton of runs, but their differential is not as jaw-dropping as I'd expected to see. Competent-to-Good pitching helps I guess. If this team can stay within a half-dozen games of first, I'd love to see them add some offense before the deadline. I'd even be happy with the return of second-half-2017 Dozier, Morrison, Buxton & Polanco with a little Santana (and eventually Sano ... hopefully sometime later this summer?) sprinkled in.
Anyway, Boston's legit, and no matter the outcome of today's game (Good Gibson v. Porcello ... yeah), I'm encouraged by the Twins' play against 'em. Add some offense and a continued mediocre run by Cleveland and this team may still be competing in late August.
Wide-eyed Rookie v. Reigning Cy Young Award winner
Mejia v. Porcello.
Let's hope last night's defensive lapses and poor decision-making on the base paths were simply an aberration due to the wet conditions and localized lightning strikes.
Let's hope the bullpen continues to pitch
Let's also hope that the boys bring their bats and see the early-June 2017 (5.00 ERA) Porcello because last night, they sorta made Drew Pomeranz look like circa-2016 Porcello.
Finally, let's also hope that the young "core" of Polanco, Kepler & Sanó can get their mojo back, who after good-to-great months of April & May are respectively slashing .231/.273/.308, .217/.244/.349 and .239/.309/.466 for June.
Greetings from SFO - we're flying home today after finishing up the cross country RV tour of the Western US ... 'vacation' wouldn't be accurate, but I wasn't at work and did see some amazing stuff. I haven't been following the squad much except to see a box score here and there. Lots of roster changes to catch up on when I get home (Plouffe to the DL with a "left oblique strain" & Florimon up is apparently the most recent).
Anyway, they managed to score 8 runs over the last three frames (and still lose) yesterday. Hopefully that offense can pick up where it left off since I don't anticipate Nolasco will pitch a shut-out in the rubber match.
It's getting increasingly tough to be optimistic on these. I'd probably go high-concept on you here, but today is a moving day AND a work day so I really don't have the time.
Porcello vs. Walters.
Go get 'em, boys. Please?
Twins visiting Detroit starting with tonight's game. 610 CDT first pitch.
MIN: Blackburn (1-4 | 7.18 ERA | 5.83 FIP | 4.49 xFIP | -0.2 fWAR | 4.88 K/9 | 1.55 K/BB)
DET: Porcello (3-3 | 5.18 ERA | 4.54 FIP | 3.91 xFIP | +0.3 fWAR | 5.18 K/9 | 2.67 K/BB)
Hey look another Wednesday game! You know what's fun? Watching baseball. Even this form of Twins baseball is better than the off season. Right?
Count me out of those asking for changes. Well sweeping organizational changes anyway. I don't think most of us thought the 2012 Twins would be a great team. Hell a lot of us thought they wouldn't be any good. Unfortunately, they've managed to pretty much undershoot anyones worst expectations so far. 10-26 is awful. I don't think this team is really that bad. The offense will come back again. The pitching will level out. Twins will not end up with a .277 winning percentage. The Twins still get to play in the AL Central last I checked.
Porcello is a hittable righty. One would hope that the Twins will take advantage; oh and there is that whole Detroit has a hilariously defensive team. At least killing worms might work tonight. He does rely on a sinker, but he's had some trouble getting it to sink lately. No Adjustments!
Blackburn needs a beard. And an eye patch. But at least he's not Marquis. If he can keep it in the park, he should be fine.
Note: The term "Market Inefficiency" is hereby banned from the game thread. They call it the Dismal "Science" for a reason.
1. Span 8
2. Dozier 6
3. Mauer DH
4. Willingham 7
5. Morneau 3
6. Doumit 2
7. Plouffe 9
8. Casilla 4
9. Carroll 5
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Andy Dirks, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Alex Avila, C
7. Ryan Raburn, 2B
8. Brennan Boesch, RF
9. Ramon Santiago, SS
I just got this message from "ThaReal_elm_n":
Thome Watch continues. Younger and wussier players around him continue to wilt in the August heat, but the Masher keeps on keeping on. The Tiggers have pretty much pwned the Twins for the last year, having won 12 out of their last 13 against our boys.
F-Bomb (tRA+: 92, FIP: 4.53, xFIP: 4.41, fWAR: 0.8, 97:66 K:BB in 117 innings)
Rick Porcello (tRA+: 108, FIP: 3.92, xFIP: 4.00, fWAR: 1.9, 76:30 K:BB in 126 innings)
The 22-year old Porcello is having a solid season. Amongst the mortal starters on the Tiger staff, he leads the way in pRAA at +4.8 (Verlander is at +33.0, tied for 7th in the Majors; he's third in pitching rWAR). But the real strength of this club is the offense, which weighs in at +43.2 bRAA and is 5th in the A.L. in runs per game at 4.44 (Twins are 12th at 3.87 -- behind Oakland, for goodness sake). So, tell me again why they wanted _elm_n???
Porcello is a ground-ball inducing righty. The Twins have a lefty-heavy lineup, with no _elm_n and a questionable Cuddy.
I might be wrong here but I am pretty sure that Francisco Liriano, when starting on Tuesdays in 2011, only throws no-hitters.
Sorry for the shortness of this preview but I am going to be spending most of the week in Rochester this week. I will come back with scouting reports on Ray Chang, Chase Lambin, and Toby Gardenhire to make up for it.