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Healing Heartbreak: a preview and prediction of the series finale with Oakland


Nash Walker

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blog-0925265001563685142.jpgWritten by Nash Walker

 

Saturday was a whirlwind for the Twins. You watched it. You read about it. Let's move on.

Final: Minnesota 4, Oakland 5

Series Score: Minnesota 1, Oakland 2

Central Division: Minnesota by 3 over Cleveland

 

MIchael Pineda takes the hill Sunday and is enjoying a spectacular July. In 12 innings, Pineda has struck out 12 and walked one. Pineda struggled in April and May, but his ERA has plummeted this summer. He is an efficient pitcher, allowing just two homers in his last eight starts.

 

The Twins realistically have three (maybe four) available relievers to follow Pineda. Ryne Harper warmed up on Saturday but did not enter and should be ready after throwing 29 pitches on Friday. Kohl Stewart has yet to make an appearance after being called up and is seemingly the freshest arm in the pen. Trevor May has not pitched since Wednesday. Taylor Rogers is the only other reliever who would not be pitching for their third straight day.

 

Daniel Mengden will start for Oakland and has done so seven times this year. He owns a 4.21 ERA and 1.3 WHIP. Mengden faced the Twins two weeks ago and allowed eight hits and five runs. Mengden walked 16 and struck out 34 in 47 innings this season.

 

The Twins are batting .321 against Mengden in 53 at-bats. Jason Castro and Miguel Sano are 4/8 with a homer each.

 

The Athletics are hitting a cool .172 with 10 strikeouts off Pineda in 29 at-bats . Khris Davis is 0/5, and Mark Canha is 0/3 with two strikeouts.

 

Twins projected lineup: Assuming Buxton remains out (concussion)

1. Max Kepler CF

2. Marwin Gonzalez RF

3. Jorge Polanco DH

4. Eddie Rosario LF

5. C.J Cron 1B

6. Luis Arraez 2B

7. Ehire Adrianza SS

8. Miguel Sano 3B

9. Jason Castro C

 

Prediction: Nelson Cruz gets a day off before the Yankees. Michael Pineda rides his strong history to six more good innings of work. The Twins beat up on the porous Mengden. Kepler hits a bomba, Marwin has a big day, Polanco knocks in a few runs and Castro adds insurance late with a triple decker.

 

Score: Minnesota 7, Oakland 3

 

Enjoy your Sunday!

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If the Twins are somehow able to win on Sunday, chances are they will not get swept by the Yankees. But I foresee a disappointing 6 to 4 win by the Athletics and a bad sweep at the hands of the Yankees. New York is playing really well right now. 

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The fact the team is not playing well overall is not good and then the Yanks come to town. Yikes, they always seem to find a way to beat the Twins; sometimes it is ugly.

 

Looking back, the Twins were at a season high record of +25 at 47-22 on Father's Day. KC won that day, 8-6. A telling sign from that game: "the Twins left the bases loaded three times and were 4 of 18 with runners in scoring position." (quoted from the AP). The Twins are 12-16 since that game.

 

I know talk is mostly about the pitching and that is a sore spot, but I believe the lack of clutch hitting is what has hurt this team most during this tailspin. How do they fix that??

 

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