We inaugurate a new year with our own home opener. If the first 6 games are any indication, this should be a pretty exciting year!
Bauer (4-7, 4.18 ERA) vs. Gibson (11-9, 3.96 ERA)
Now that the Twins have finished up helping the Royals stay ahead of the Tigers, they're hanging around Target Field to see if they can't get the Clevelands into the wild card race. I really haven't been paying a lot of attention, because last place, but at least it sounds like Mauer is back to being Mauer and Gibson has been throwing pretty good as of late.
Here's pretty much all you need to know:
Kurt Suzuki, C, Minnesota Twins
Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota Twins
Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Pat Neshek, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
But the real Minnesota star? Target Field. You're freakin' awesome, girl -- strut your stuff.
who ya got?
Ricky "Eventually an ace?" Nolasco
BR has the Twins ranked 22nd in SRS. Thankfully, the White Sox are ranked 27th. This is a perfect time for Nolasco to earn that ace(-ish) label.
Goodness do I ever hate traffic... Anyway, let's go for the "sweep"!
As Jeff A has well cataloged, this team seems to be at a bit of a crossroads. Here's to hoping the Magical Zoomball is at its full effectiveness this afternoon.
Ricky Nolasco (2-3, 5.64 ERA) vs. Felix Doubront (1-3, 5.09 ERA)
The Twins return to the Bullseye after spending time in two crappy cities. This doesn't look like a matchup of guys who've gotten off to a good start this year. Doubront has been walking a bunch of guys and not lasting very long into games while Nolasco seems to be prone to the "In Play Run(s)" type of plays. The good news is that Nolsy's last couple of starts have been much better with some increased striking out of guys. Hopefully that trend can keep going tonight. Of course, as is the way of things, this will probably turn out like the last time I previewed an opposing pitcher who walked a lot of guys and hadn't been pitching well. Hopefully the Twin's band of merry infielders can keep the good feelings rolling after the Detroit series win.
For the brewers out there, I recently tried out a new hopping technique, first wort hopping. Flavor/aroma hops are added prior to the boil during the sparging process (could also be done during the grain steeping if doing extract with specialty grains). I made an IPA using this and kegged it on Saturday and wow, the hops really asserted themselves on my initial taste during the kegging process. I will report back once the batch is carbonated if anyone is interested. It better utilizes the hop acids meaning fewer hops could be used to get a similar effect. Plus, it simplified the boil quite a bit. Its always fun to try new things after all these years. Next thing I boldly try might be decoction mashing.
The first of two games scheduled for today, though time will tell if we even get through one of them...
9th time's the charm.