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GAME THREAD: 4/6/21 Minnesota Twins @ Detroit Tigers, 12:10 CDT


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Since my last game thread intro, the Twins have went on a run to win three ballgames in a row, and looking dang good doing so. The starting pitching has been fantastic, and the bats have come around the past two games. There is always the cloud of injuries over our head, but that is the life of being a Minnesota sports fan. Let's get into game 2 of the midweek series with Detroit. 


The Pitchers - LHP J.A. Happ (2-2, 3.47 ERA, 42 K's, 49.1 IP) vs RHP Casey Mize (0-3, 6.99 ERA, 26 K's, 28.1 IP)


The Twins turn to offseason free agent signee J.A Happ to round out their rotation. The lefty has bounced around the league during his long career, most recently playing for the Yankees. Happ is a good backend starter who will go out and eat innings. However, his FIP was over a run higher than his ERA last year, so there is room for some negative regression. Happ relies on a low 90's 4 seam fastball (44%) which is used to attack righties, while he uses a sinker (22%) to attack lefties. You will see him get the most swings and misses with the slider, and will occasionally go to the changeup against RHH. He did not throw it at all against a lefty last year. Mize, a name we've seen on top 100 prospects boards, is making his first start of the season. He struggled mightily last year, and did not have a good spring despite facing the average hitter below an AAA level, per baseball reference. Twins hitters should be able to feast on his hittable fastball variations, especially if the curveball is going to keep getting crushed.


The Lineups




2B Luis Arraez L

SS J. Polanco S
DH Nelson Cruz R
RF Max Kepler L
LF Brent Rooker R
CF Jake Cave L
1B Miguel Sano R
3B W. Astudillo R
C Ryan Jeffers R




LF Niko Goodrum S

SS Willi Castro S
1B M. Cabrera R
3B J. Candelario S
DH Wilson Ramos R
RF R. Grossman S
2B J. Schoop R
C G. Greiner R
CF JaCoby Jones R


Arraez gets the nod once again despite being removed from yesterdays game after a weird at-bat which saw him grabbing his chest. Simmons gets his first day off of the season which means Polanco slides back over to SS. Kepler slides up to the four spot today which slides Rooker and Cave both down a spot. I find it interested that Garlick got the nod on the 26 man roster, but Rooker has been starting over him. Buxton is still out of the lineup, but Rocco has provided some good updates. I expect him back in the lineup tomorrow, and possibly as a defensive substation if todays game is close. Willians is at the hot corner after a great game off the bench yesterday, and Jeffers is the first catcher to start 2 games in a row. It is worth noting the Twins face 3 upcoming lefties, which is likely the reason for this. The Tigers start all RHH or switch hitting players. Happ did gave up an OPS in the high 600's last year vs RHH, which is very good for Happ. The only notable thing from the Tigers lineup is the lack of Akil Baddoo, who is off to a blazing hot start after the Tigers took him in the R5 draft from the Twins. 


This Day in History - 1973: At the Oakland Coliseum, Tony Oliva becomes the first designated hitter ever to homer. The Twins DH's first-inning two-run round-tripper off future Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter helps the team defeat the A's, 8-3.


Pick to Click: Sano bomba


Prediction: Twins 7, Tigers 4


Go Twins!!!

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I'm as big of a Buxton fan as any other Twins supporter, but jeez, he's never sat out 1 game in his life. If he's out, the guy's on the bench for days or weeks.


Good to see Arraez back. Imagine if we were playing with Donaldson and Buxton right now - amazing we're already down to using our 24th, 25th, and 26th men on a regular basis.


4-1 would look real nice. Excited to see what Happ can do here.

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Anyone surprised that Kepler has been staying in RF with Buxton out?

I expected it. Rocco did this last year when Buxton had days off. The idea is to keep Kepler consistent and fresh, it seems.


With that said, I really hoped Byron would be back today. The Donaldson/Buxton situation is so damned frustrating.

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"I find it interested that Garlick got the nod on the 26 man roster, but Rooker has been starting over him."


It's probably that they want Rooker to get everyday action, and for Garlick they care less about that.

This. Garlick appears to be, and should be, a “break glass in case of emergency” player.
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How pleasantly optimistic of you. I wouldn't use the word "excited" to describe Happ being on the mound but okay, that's nice, we'll go with that instead of the word I was going to use.


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