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Game Thread Twins @ Cardinals Doubleheader First Game @ 2:15 PM CST

stringer bell

The Twins have a one-day road trip today. Due to the Cardinals messed up schedule because of positive COVID-19 tests, the Twins will play two games in St. Louis today and have an off day tomorrow (and also Thursday). Unfortunately, my weather app says that there is a good chance of rain in St. Louis this afternoon. I don't know what MLB will do if weather interferes and I hope I don't find out.


The Twins have 17 games remaining, no team has played more games. They are currently in third place in the AL Central, but barring a complete meltdown, they will make the playoffs this year. According to ESPN, they have a 99.5% chance to advance to postseason. They have played well against their main two contenders--winning four of six versus the White Sox and four of seven against Cleveland, meaning that in the event of a tie with either of those clubs, the Twins control the tiebreaker. On the flip side, Minnesota is 9-9 versus Detroit and Kansas City, splitting thus far with both of the bottom teams. 


Baldelli rested four starters yesterday, three of whom are nursing minor injuries. Two other starters are on the Injured List, so the Twins lineup had the look of a Spring Training exhibition game. They scored six runs and played well in the field so the grousing can subside, at least until today's lineup is posted.


Another area of criticism for the manager has been the use of the bullpen and doing so-called bullpen games, where seven or eight bullpen arms are used. With the expanded rosters, there are a lot of arms in the bullpen and evidence suggests that the Twins' bullpen pitchers are not overworked despite seldom having a starter go as many as six innings. The Twins are starting two of their regular rotation today, with Berríos going in the first game and Dobnak starting the second on short rest. So they may have a modified bullpen game for the second game. Remember, these are seven inning games, so if Berríos goes six and Dobnak three the bullpen will only need to go five innings (with an additional pitcher for the doubleheader) assuming they win both games and there are no extra innings.


The final topic of the day is Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario, seemingly always a lightning rod for discussion. Eddie has been at the center of fielding mishaps, baserunning gaffes with some nice hits and RBIs sprinkled in with one-pitch at-bats. There is an article on the Front Page of TD suggesting it is time to move on from Eddie. I'm not ready to go there yet, but I do think that 2020 will be Eddie's last in a Twins uniform.


Today's opponent is St. Louis. They have played the fewest games in MLB and currently sit just above ..500. The Cards are starting former closer Carlos Martinez in the first game and likely will do a bullpen game in the second (if there is a doubleheader today). The Cardinals lineup features Silver Slugger Paul Goldschmidt and future Hall-of-Famer Yadier Molina (the last and best of the Molina brothers catching family). The Cards are a good team. A split is acceptable, but a sweep is needed if the Twins are to gain on Cleveland and Chicago and improve their playoff position.




Twins 26-17


Arraez 2b

Donaldson 3b

Polanco ss

Cruz dh

Rosario lf

Sanó 1b

Cave rf

Buxton cf

Astudillo c


Pitching: Berríos 3-3 4.29 ERA



Cardinals 17-16


Wong 2b

Edman 3b

Goldschmidt 1b

Miller dh

Dejong ss

Molina c

O'Neill lf

Bader cf

Thomas rf


Pitching: Martinez 0-1 14.73 ERA














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Tiny bit disappointed that Jeffers doesn't get the start.  Berrios' two best performances this season were with Jeffers as his battery mate.  Given Berrios' control problems this year and Jeffers superior pitch framing skills, I would think Jeffers would get the nod.  Nothing against La Tortuga, but I would have loved to see if there is some magic with Jeffers catching La Makina. 

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Poppen, fresh? The Pillsbury Doughboy would approve.


Eddie is like the older brother you love, but man are they maddening. Always giving you a noogie even when it's way past funny. I agree we may see a new left fielder next year. Rooker has looked pretty promising so far, and we have the two higher-rated corner outfield prospects right behind him. I'd love to see Eddie turn it on here, as I've been a fan of his since day one. It's those dang noogies I can live without!


That game 1 lineup looks strong. Not our best, but getting closer.

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