The Tale of Two Lefty's
Hector Santiago (2-1, 2.19 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 4 BB:17 SO's through 24.2 IP, 3.65 RS/9)
Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.77 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 9 BB:14 SO's through 26 IP, 7.62 RS/9)
I actually think Santiago's a better pitcher than I'd given him credit for. As cheaptoy noted, this is probably due to the fact that someone was willing to trade him to the Twins in exchange for Ricky Nolasco.
Fun Fact: Mauer is 0-12 facing Hamels - most at-bats without a hit against any pitcher... so, he's due?
After some early miscues and missed opportunities, the Twins nearly managed a 'GreekHouse call' last night, falling only 1 run short of the necessary 8. Sure wouldn't mind them accomplishing that goal this evening.
Last year the team was never over .500 (closest they'd get was 17.5 games back at 46-66, a .411 winning percentage) through 20 games, they were already 6-14. At 10-10, the fellas are in 4th place, but only 1.5 games behind 1st place Detroit. A win puts the Twins back over .500 on the season.
Between no tv, rain delay, and an incredible work schedule I have been absent of twins baseball since Sunday. I know by checking the Twitter machine that they have won some games lately. I think they are on a win streak (?)
I am take a five minute breather from work to post this.
best preview ever? probably
Enjoy the game.
I hope Ervin Santana pitches awesome tonight. Then he gets traded for all the prospects. Then the Twins go on a 50 game win streak.
Enjoy the game!
1. CF D. DeShields Jr. (R)
2. RF Shin-Soo Choo (L)
3. DH Prince Fielder (L)
4. 3B Adrian Beltre (R)
5. 1B Mitch Moreland (L)
6. LF Josh Hamilton (L)
7. SS Elvis Andrus (R)
8. 2B Rougned Odor (L)
9. CB Bobby Wilson (R)
1. CF Aaron Hicks (S)
2. 2B Brian Dozier (R)
3. 1B Joe Mauer (L)
4. DH Miguel Sano (R)
5. 3B Trevor Plouffe (R)
6. RF Torii Hunter (R)
7. LF Eddie Rosario (L)
8. C Kurt Suzuki (R)
9. SS Eduardo Nunez (R)
TEX: Nick Martinez (R) (7-6, 3.91)
MIN: Mike Pelfrey (R) (5-7, 4.06)
The Twins are in a bit of a tailspin at the moment losing 5 of the last 6 games. I still have faith that the ship will right itself and we will be back in first place in no time.
Wandy Rodriguez pitches for the Rangers. Tommy Milone for the Twins. Will we get "strike everyone out like in AAA" Tommy or "12 walks to 13 strikeouts in the Majors" Tommy . I hope its the AAA guy.
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.
Continue reading 2014 Game 51: Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins
Alright, dudes, we have some work to do real quick-like if the Twins are going to have a winning record by the time Beau gets back. That should be no problem against the Rangers today, right?
Neftali Feliz has been closing for the Rangers since shortly after his career started, and they made the correct but all-too-rare move to take this great young pitcher and make a starter out of him, maximizing his usefulness. He pitched seven scoreless innings last week, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out four.
Aussie Liam Hendriks is 23 just like Feliz, so they've got that in common, at least. Hendriks started four games last year, pitching 23.1 innings, striking out 16 while walking 6. His ERA in the small sample was 6.17 while his peripheral numbers were much, much better. His K rates in the minors make him a promising pitcher while his BB rates should also make him a favorite of the Twins' brass. The strikeouts dropped a little when he hit AAA, but the walk rate stayed absurdly low (three walks in 49 innings). He doesn't throw very hard, either, so the guy's a Twin through and through.
So, why did I not know just how good this guy was in the minors? Is it because his name makes him sound like an insurance adjuster or something? Well, for whatever reason, I'd forgotten the guy had such promise, and now I've talked myself into being excited for this game. Now just don't remind me that he'll be facing the Texas lineup.
MINNESOTA 1 -- TEXAS 4
Twins Record: 2-5
Lowest WPA - Swarzak (7 IP, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 SO), Mauer (1 for 4, SO, GIDP)
Highest WPA - Willingham (1 for 2, R, BB, HBP)
Fangraphs - MLB Recap
The Twins made some solid contact in the first few innings, but Texas made some sparkling defensive plays to keep the damage to a Danny Valencia sac fly in the second. 1-0 Twins for the first time all season. But would it be enough?
It would not. Swarzak put up another perfectly reasonable start, the big Texas inning was one where the Twins needed a sparkling defensive play or two. Instead the first 5 Rangers reached (4 singles and an error) resulting in 3 runs. Minnesota would get a few guys on base over the course of the game but never get the big hit to bring the game back within reach.
There are plenty of people who will say Texas is better than the Twins. Tonight the Rangers got a little bit more pitching, a little bit more hitting, and a little bit more defense. That was enough to make this a not terribly exciting end to the Twins longest winning streak of the year.
Last season was crap, but the Twins managed to beat the AL champions five of the eight times they played including three out of four in Minnesota. The bad news: Swarzak pitched in that game. The good news: the loser was Duensing, who went two innings and gave up seven runs. Swarzak went the next six, giving up only two runs.
Harrison also lost in the homestand, in the one game where Liriano was awesome. That was the game where Harrison got hit in the head, the Twins decided to score a bunch, and messed up Liriano's groove. Don't mess up Swarzak's groove and 158-4 stays in sight.
(here's this in case, you know, anyone needs it...)
detroit tigers (2) at texas rangers (3)