Big four game series starting against the Sox tonight. I mentioned this somewhere else but it sure feels like a long time since the Sox and Twins were going down to the wire at the end of a season, such as it is.
Hopefully we get another outing of good Berríos, for both the Twins and my fantasy team! Cease is getting his third major league start, and the first two weren't great.
As weird as this season has been, at least it's been interesting for us Twins fans.
Yesterday actually happened. There was a meaningful, delightful baseball game. Kepler actually swatted the first pitch he saw over the right field fence. I actually got to sit on the floor with my son and we both got to watch our bullpen decimate the White Sox lineup while we played with Legos.
That was great. What do they have for an encore?
The Übermensch takes on Dallas Keuchel. Now, in theory, this is the type of matchup that we've kind of weary of over the past couple of years. Their Cy Young alum takes on our second year fodder. A few problems with that live off thinking though:
* The Übermensch isn't just fodder. He was a fine pitcher down the stretch last year, and I feel like as deep as our rotation is here, he'll break into it this summer.
* This is not 2015 Kid Keuchel. He's an old man now. He has tennis balls in his garage to help him park his minivan. He has to take a motorized scooter to get to the pitching mound, and has to take a walker to get to the top of it. He BARELY cracks 93 anymore.
* This lineup, you guys. Rosario WALKED in his first plate appearance of the season. They justifiably batted a potential batting champion 9th. Max Kepler may break the all time home run record by the end of
April err, August.
This is going to be good. Go Twins!!
There’s little room for argument that Kyle Gibson has been a frustrating pitcher to watch, and probably to coach, over his four full major league seasons. Brilliant one start and seemingly brain-dead the next, far too often nibbling away his advantage after getting ahead in counts, and never seeming to trust his best stuff in tough situations despite ample evidence that he can and should. But we may be witnessing a metamorphosis of sorts with Gibby and this could be a breakout season for the 31-year old Hoosier, with the normal caveat about staying healthy.
Late last year Gibson finally started to show some confidence and consistency on the mound and finished the season strong. His Achilles heel continues to be inefficiency as he’s only averaged 5 1/3 innings per start this season despite notching impressive performance stats, to wit a 3.38 ERA (good for a 129 ERA+) that's nicely in line with his 3.42 FIP. He’s allowed only two long balls in 32 innings and pitched to a meager .212 opponent batting average while maintaining a low 1.28 WHIP. And he’s been an effective control and ground ball pitcher, tallying 36 strikeouts with a 2.25 K/BB ratio and 1.57 grounders for every fly ball struck. All told it’s been worth 0.9 WAR from Gibson through April.
Opposing Gibson today is James Shields, who has struggled some out of the gate to a 1-3 record. His 5.35 ERA and 4.73 FIP indicate he’s been a bit unlucky and the Pale Hose have lost five of his seven starts, four of them by a single run. Twins on the current roster have 200 at bats against Shields with a respectable slash line of .260/.323/.465/.788. Dozier especially has feasted, sporting a .333 average and 1.224 OPS against Shields, who has contributed just 0.2 WAR for the Southsiders this year.
Enough with the egghead stats already, this game happens on a field, not a spreadsheet. Play ball!
Colon vs. Gonzalez
DAY GAME ALERT! GAME IN PROGRESS!
So yeah, not much to say today. Buxton is hurt and that is bad for the Twins and bad for baseball.
Its always nice to host the White Sox after a disastrous home series against a good team. Hopefully they can complete the sweep this afternoon because they head to Cleveland tomorrow with Boston right after that. It could get ugly, folks. The White Sox are pretty crappy, so they should have no problem today.
Jose Quintana (3-8, 5.07 ERA, 4.35 FIP) vs. Nik Turley (0-1, 12.46 ERA, 4.75 FIP).
On the bright side, Turley's FIP is waaaaaaaay lower than his ERA, so maybe he's just been really unlucky in his first two starts? (also small sampe size). I'm not confident in that, so I'll go ahead and predict its going to require a good deal of runs today. Fortunately, Quintana hasn't been particularly good this year either. If you like good pitching, might want to cover your eyes for this one.
The return of PJ, A story told in Nine Parts.
Twins - PJ Walters
Sox - Jake Peavy
- Switch Hitting Pirate
- Delmon's Roomie
Diamond (9-4, 2.88 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 56 Ks) Versus Peavy (8-7, 3.15 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 126 Ks)
- Alejandro De Aza
- Kevin Youkilis
- Adam Dunn
- Paul Konerko
- Alex Rios
- Alexei Ramirez
- Dayan Viciedo
- Tyler Flowers
- Orlando Hudson