Did the Twins lose painfully yesterday? Yes.
Did Cleveland also lose? Yes.
Are the Twins playing a middling-or-worse team this weekend? Yes.
Are the Indians also playing a middling-or-worse team this weekend? Yes.
Are there other questions I can ask, and then answer in the affirmative? Yes.
Am I going to do so? Yes.
Do the Twins still have a 3-game lead on the Indians? Yes.
Are they probably going to keep that lead through the weekend? Yes.
Do the Yankees have a TV network? Yes.
Has this been a fun season so far? Yes.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that there's no real reason to be a nay-sayer. The Twins get a chance to play the Royals, at home, and hopefully they can make hay out of it. They can be hay-sayers, if you will.
Alright, I'm clearly sleep deprived or something. Sparkman vs. Perez tonight, and here's hoping we enjoy this weekend of baseball!
Yesterday the Twins became the first American League team this season to win 50 games. Despite the recent rough patch the team has been going through, they've managed to maintain their status as the best team in the league and the distinction of not losing more than two games at a stretch. And it's not like we didn't all feel some regression to the mean creeping up on us. Odorizzi wasn't going to keep throwing endless shutout innings. The lineup couldn't keep scoring more than six runs with a couple of dingers every game. The bullpen has only so much smoke and so many mirrors. Guys are going to get banged up and go on the IL, sometimes when they've been riding a hot streak. That's the nature of a six month long season, ebbs and flows, high and lows, strikes and gutters. So yes, some ass-bats have been sneaking into the bat rack. Some gloves and arms have been temporarily cursed. There's been a higher than normal level of cerebral flatulence. But I think the Twins have shown remarkable resilience all year and will continue to do so, and we've seen a big enough sample now to know this is a good team with a good chance to make some postseason noise.
The Twins send Michael Pineda to the hill today to try to nail down the series win in this four-game set. He has not been horrible lately. In his last two starts he's thrown 11.2 innings and given up just two runs on seven hits. Homer Bailey will try to salvage a series split for the Royals. He's been a hot arm recently, throwing 13.2 shutout innings while giving up just seven hits in his last two outings. I feel like Polanco is due, so he's my stick to click pick today. Play ball!
Upon brief perusal of stats, this appears to be a matchup of rather similar pitchers. mid to high 3's for ERA, slightly higher xFIP's. They'll strike out a couple guys, but not all of them. Volquez favors the flyball a bit more than Gibson, though, so hopefully the Twins can turn some of those into HR's. It'd be real nice if Sano could break out of this mini-slump and hit some balls hard.
I would also like to see Buxton in there today. (and everyday, but dead horse) I suspect we may not since Hunter's had some hits the past two games, though.
Hooray, the first Tuesday game of the year! And it isn't Big Pelf starting!
I suppose one could say that Milone is the Twins new ace in this SSST of the first month of the season. He's the only one having any real consistent success. Considering the brutality of the Twins OF defense, his team leading 6.9 SO/9 could be a part of that. (although I do expect Hughes's totals to come up from where they are at the moment.)
My main point here is to say that I really can't wait until the young'uns in the lower levels show some success and make their way to the big club.
Nolasco (5-9, 5.96 ERA) vs. Duffy (8-11, 2.53 ERA)
The Twins head to KC to face the King Royals, starting off the series in what has been the worst possible way this year: with Nolasco pitching. Maybe this is when he turns a corner, gets his game on track?
The deck project is going about as well as expected, I say sarcastically. Arguments abound, though I've manage to convince my wife that a pergola would look completely awful in my hands. (there was much yelling.) I've given in on deck size, expanding my hope of 12'x12' to at least 14', though the Menards design tool tells me it will cost $1,001,400 or so.
Also, its been hot down here lately (and absurdly humid), so maybe seeing the fountains at Kaufman will help.
Its been a few weeks since I remembered to put up a Tuesday game log, so here's to remembering!
Gibson (8-8, 4.19 ERA) vs. Shields (9-5, 3.58 ERA)
Will we get good Gibson or bad Gibson tonight? No idea, but I haven't really paid much attention lately with all the travel and such going on in my life. I'm going to guess it'll be bad Gibson so that this start will either meet my expectations or exceed. Gotta stay positive.
Sheilds (8-8, 3.22 ERA) vs. Correia (8-10, 4.52 ERA)
We've come back around to play the Royals again at the friendly confines of the heat soaked Target Field. I expect big things, really. Fortunately, the White Sox exist, as even with a recent hot streak, they've kept a few games back of the Twins, preventing the dread "last in the crappy AL Central" title to be bestowed upon the Minnesotans. I'm also told that Joe Mauer is eligible to come off the DL from his concussion, but won't be back just yet. So, things are looking level!
Anyway, I haven't really been able to pay a whole lot of attention the past few days. The good news is that the bauble got out of the PICU yesterday and has been steadily getting better. Hopefully he can come home in a few days and I can keep closer tabs on the race to the bottom.
Lake Deduderino (1-1, 5.11 ERA) vs. Mendoza (1-2, 4.63 ERA)
Hey, its Tuesday!
I just found out Deduno's middle name is Lake, which should make him a great fit for Minnesota because of lakes. Anyway, while I can't read his mind, I expect he'd like to build off of a pretty good start last week against Milwaukee in which he threw the most innings in a game a starter has thrown for the Twins since, I think and without looking this up, Johan Santana was with the team. Granted, it came against what is a very, very bad Brewers team, but on the bright side, this start is coming against a very bad Royals team. Plus, per Pos's recent column on the subject, they hate walks, which is good for Deduno.
More importantly, today marks the return of Clete Thomas. I know the anticipation was thick, and now all that waiting should finally pay off. Probably in the form of many, many strikeouts, though.
Hopefully, the power can continue and the Twins can do what they ought to be able to do against the lowly Royals.