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You only have 24 hours to buy Target Field tickets for this classic matchup: the resistible force meets the movable object. You’ll also have an opportunity to see a pair of starting pitching prospects that raced their way through the minors. They’ll just be pitching for the other team.
The Padres are a noncontender in the National League, despite having the second best team ERA (3.10) in baseball. That isn’t easy, but the Padres have managed with the worst offense in MLB. But sometimes “worst” isn’t descriptive enough. Charlie Beattie’s (@TheUnplayable) writeup in the $1 Twins Official Scorecard for this series included this historical tidbit:
There is a difference between being the worst and being the worst by a lot. The Padres are the latter. They’ve scored 52 fewer runs than the 29th ranked team, the Cardinals. How big of a difference is 52 runs? There is also a 52 run difference between the Cardinals and the Baltimore Orioles – who rank 12th in MLB in runs scored. The Padres are as many runs away from the 29th team as the 29th team is from the 12th.
“When the Twins swept a two-game series at Petco park in late May, they did so facing a team whose 4-5-6 hitters were all hitting under .200. …Fortunes didn’t improve much in June, when the Padres posted the lowest monthly team batting average in the live ball era, hitting only .171 as a group.”
Of course, that lineup will be facing the Twins, whose pitching staff ranks 27th in ERA. However, the Twins will have their two veterans, Phil Hughes and Kevin Correia, throwing in this series.
When the team starts a series in Oakland on Thursday, the starting pitchers will likely be chosen from a number of hopefuls in Rochester. Could that mean callups – finally - for either Trevor May or Alex Meyer? Time will tell.
But In San Diego, Time Has Trouble Getting A Word In Edgewise
Twins fans who are frustrated by the wait for May or Meyer may want to avert their gaze from the opposing mound this series. Or, perhaps dream about what might yet be. Because the Twins are going to be facing two guys who were far from the majors just a few months ago.
On Wednesday night, they Twins will face right-hander Jesse Hahn, who started the year in AA. In 2013 he gained a little prospect status in High A with the Rays, but not so high that they had any trouble dealing him to the Padres in a seven-player swap this offseason. Before that, Hahn was a sixth round draft pick who had Tommy John surgery soon after being drafted.
But the Padres pushed him fast, promoting him straight from AA after a 2-1 start. It’s worked. In nine major league starts he’s had seven quality starts, just as many wins, a 2.01 ERA and 54K in 53.2 IP. Last week manager Bud Black said he planned on giving Hahn between five and ten more starts before he is shut down for the season.
That’s a roadrunner-quick ascension. But still not as fast as the guy who the Twins are facing on Wednesday afternoon.
On May 1st of this year, Odrisamer Despaigne (pronounced the way it looks) didn’t have a major league contract. He was a 27-year-old defector from Cuba and signed with the Padres the next day for a $1 million signing bonus. He threw two games in AA and was promoted to AAA for five games. He was promoted to the Padres on June 23rd and has already started seven games, earning a 2-3 record, a 2.68 ERA but only 23K (and 17 BB) in 43.2 IP.
To be fair, both of these pitchers are older than May or Meyer who are both 24 years old. And one could argue that neither is as important to the future of the Padres as May or Meyer are to the Twins, which might explain whey the Twins are seemingly being much more careful. But the stark difference in philosophy between the organizations is striking.
Wow – there are not a ton of tickets available for Tuesday night. Welcome to a summer night in Minnesota. You might want to act fast if you want anything below the third deck. The day game on Wednesday has more options and is supposed to be a flawless day to play hooky. All are an even better deal if you use the promo code DAILYDOUBLE, which will get you 10% off and supports Twins Daily. Whatever your needs, your local ticket supplier, Ticket King, can help.
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