Tag Archives: win streaks

Game 69: Padres at Mauers

Back in game log 35, I made the statement "when the major leaguers on this team outnumber the minor leaguers, they might grab my interest again." In fairness, the scrubs started playing pretty well the last couple of weeks. It seemed for a little while there that I was marveling at the sheer wretchedness of that night's lineup every night, only to have them score a buttload of runs for our suddenly-rock-solid starting pitching staff.

That's all well and good, but now that things are gradually swinging back to "Minnesota Twins" rather than "Minnesota Red Wings", I'm finding myself genuinely excited by the team. Sure, we still have one too many players on the team named "Butera", and Jim Hoey is inexplicably still employed by a major league ballclub, but Tolbert is back to his rightful position as backup utility infielder! Dusty Hughes is elsewhere! Joe Mauer played in a major league game last night.

For all our pessimism earlier this season, we were still invested in just about every game. It looks like the Twins are ready to reward us.

Scott "All Star" Baker vs. Tim "Don't Look At My Record, Either" Stauffer

I expect Baker to have a very good game today, as he builds towards his All-Star resume (in vain, of course). I do not expect the same for his counterpart.

2011 Game 59: Senators at Naps

The Arizona Diamondbacks are 13-4 since May 20, when they began a three-game sweep of our boys (and 18-5 back to May 14. I just wanted to point that out, because through April, the Snakes were 28th in MLB in FIP (just ahead of the Twins) and 26th in pitching WAR (the Twins were dead last). Now Arizona is in the hunt in the NL West, a half-game back of SF, thanks to much improved pitching (they were middle-of-the-pack in FIP, xFIP and pitching WAR in May).

The Twins ride into Cleveland on the wings of a four-game sweep of the Landed Gentlemen. Not exactly the 1927 Yankees there, but a feel-good weekend nonetheless. But if the Twins are going to make a move, now is the time to get it started, with a series win against the surprise division leaders.

Pitching matchup:

Scott Baker (3.86 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 3.65 xFIP, 66:23 K:BB, 10 HR in 67 2/3)
Josh Tomlin (3.27 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 3.86 xFIP, 41:11 K:BB, 11 HR in 71 2/3)

Tomlin, a righty, has been riding the tiger in Cleveland. He's 7-2, thanks in significant part to best-in-the-majors run support (7.91 r/g), a .213 BAA and unsustainable .213 BABIP, despite not missing very many bats and having given up HRs at the same pace as our boy Scotty. He throws a pedestrian 2-seam fastball, cutter, curve and changeup and recently has been compared unfavorably to Phil Humber. If only we had some healthy, left-handed sluggers to put in the lineup against this Cinderella Story.... Go, Red Wings Rock Cats!!!111one111!!!