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GAME THREAD: 8/3/20 Minnesota Twins VS Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10 CDT


Mill1634
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The Twins welcome Derek Shelton and the Pittsburgh Pirates to town for a quick two game home series before both teams pack up and travel back to Pittsburgh where they will square off in another two game series, making this a four game series. Very stupid of you MLB, but more on that later. The Twins come off of a very productive week, taking 2 from STL, and 3 of 4 from the Cleveland Indians. The Pirates sit at 2-7 on the year, complete opposite of our 7-2 Minnesota Twins.

 

The Pitchers: LHP Derek Holland (0-0, 3.18 ERA, 5.2 IP, 5 K's) vs LHP Lewis Thorpe (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.2 IP, 1 K)

 

Derek Holland is coming off a very poor year with an ERA of 6.08, and peripherals such as FIP, which was a 6.10, to back up his poor performance. However, in 2018 he had a sub 4 ERA, and was very good his first time on the bump in 2020. He struck out 5 Brewer's hitters, only giving up 2 runs. However, he has to face a lineup that destroys lefties tonight, which isn't good considering he had an OPS against of nearly 1.000 last year facing right handed hitters. Lewis Thorpe gets the ball for the Twins after Homer Bailey was put on the 10-day IL yesterday. Thorpe has looked good in this young season, working out of relief. He also has the advantage of facing one of the weakest lineups in the game. He hasn't thrown more than 42 pitches in an outing this year, so I expect him to throw around 70 pitches. 

 

The Lineups

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Twins

 

C Mitch Garver R

2B Luis Arraez L
DH Nelson Cruz R
1B Miguel Sano R
RF Max Kepler L
3B M. Gonzalez S
LF Jake Cave L
CF Byron Buxton R
SS E. Adrianza S

 

Pirates

 

CF Cole Tucker S

2B Kevin Newman R
1B Josh Bell S
DH Jose Osuna R
LF B. Reynolds S
3B P. Evans R
RF G. Heredia R
C J. Stallings R
SS E. Gonzalez R

 

 

The Twins will run out their lefty killers immediately, with Mitch Garver leading off. Arraez moves up to the 2-hole with Jorge Polanco earning his first day of rest in the young season, and Kepler sliding down due to the matchup. Sano also slides up in the order because of the matchup, and due to the fact that he mashed 2 homers the other night. Donaldson is absent once again, and the hot Marwin Gonzalez finds the start at third base. Eddie Rosario gets a night off, with Jake Cave playing in left. Buxton will start for the 3rd time in as many days, and the aforementioned Ehire Adrianza, who OPS'd .773 off of lefties last year, rounds out the order. The Pirates lineup features only 3 hitters batting above .200 on the year, and 2 are right on that mark. Josh Bell has struggled out of the gates after a very strong first half of the season last year. I have no clue what else to say about Derek Shelton's lineup, other than sorry, because those names are not appealing. 

 

Mill's Musings

1. Scheduling Stupidity

In case you have been living under a rock, we in the the midst of a global pandemic that is not only a threat to the 2020 MLB season, but also the threat to every single person around the world. How does the MLB choose to handle this? They schedule a split series home-and-home, because that is just a fantastic idea! Bring a team in from city A for 48 hours, then send team A back to City A, while bringing team B back with them. The away team in the first half of the series has to travel to and back from their city in the span of 48 hours to play the same exact team the next day. Travel is the number one threat to this season, despite what protocols are in place. I'm not health expert, but common sense tells me a traditional 4 game series at one ballpark would make a lot more sense.

2. Rocco's Restrictions

MLB arms have been dropping like flies early in the season due to the short ramp up time the players had this Summer, and the latest victim may be two-way star Shohei Othani. However, Twins' Manager Rocco Baldelli is taking no chances this year, and has pushed back starters multiple times, not even two turns through the rotation. Rich Hill was pushed back the 2nd game into the year, and yesterday Homer Bailey was pushed back before behind placed on the IL. Rich Hill would be in turn to start the game tonight, but he was given an extra day of rest and will start tomorrow. I like what Rocco is doing, because the Twins rotation is a legit 7-man rotation, and becomes 8 deep with Odorizzi. Throw in Michael Pineda and the Twins could form 2 separate rotations that would be better than half of the leagues normal 5 man rotation. 

 

This Day In History - 2008: Francisco Liriano, sent down to the minors after an 0-3 start in April attempting to come back from Tommy John surgery, blanks the Indians for six innings in his return to the Twins' rotation. The right-hander's performance propels Minnesota into first place in the American League Central with the eventual 6-2 victory over the Tribe along with a White Sox loss.

 

Pick to Click: Byron Buxton will have two hits, including an extra base hit

 

 

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Non-Twins news: looks like Atlanta's Mike Soroka just suffered a nasty achilles injury and if that's the case, season is over and possibly more for him. A shame, the kid was one of the bright young stars of the game.

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