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Game Thread: Guardians @ Twins, 9/9/22, 7:10pm CDT


bighat
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With the finish line in sight, it’s now or never for the Minnesota Twins. And with the division-leading Cleveland Guardians coming to town, the opportunity to reach the postseason in 2022 takes center stage.

Coming off a grim 2-5 road trip in Chicago and New York, the Twins somehow still remain just 1.5 games back of the Guardians, who arrive in Minneapolis today to begin a 3-game series at Target Field. A lot can happen in one weekend: a series sweep for Minnesota would see the teams switch places in the standings, and the Twins could enter next week with at least a share of first place. 

Minnesota sends Dylan Bundy (8-6, 4.34) to the hill tonight, and one could argue he’d be the Twins first choice to start this big series. Bundy leads the team in starts with 24, and has only given up 5 earned runs over his past 21 innings (a 2.14 ERA). He’s also 4-1 with a 2.96 ERA against Cleveland over his career. Bundy also happens to be a quick worker, meaning he’s one pitcher that won’t have to worry about the pitch clock rule coming to the MLB in 2023. The Guardians counter with Cal Quantrill (11-5, 3.55), who has lowered his ERA by a half-run in August. Quantrill stumbled a bit his last time out, managing to complete just 3 innings in a home loss to Seattle. 

Cleveland also sees this series as an opportunity - for them, it’s a chance to eliminate one of the two pesky teams contending with the Guardians for a playoff spot. A Cleveland sweep would give them a 4.5 game edge on the Twins, effectively nailing the coffin shut on Minnesota’s playoff hopes. 

Scoreboard watching: The White Sox (70-68) are also just 1.5 games back of Cleveland entering the day, and they’re starting a series against Oakland on the West Coast tonight. Oakland is surely going to lose 100 games this year and one would assume the Sox will take at least 2 of 3 games against the A’s.

Injury updates: Byron Buxton has "not resumed baseball activities" and "a return this year is uncertain". Jorge Polanco (knee) played catch yesterday, the Star Trib reported. Tyler Mahle remains on the 15 day IL with a sore shoulder. Max Kepler has been on the bench for 5 straight games with a hip injury. Kenta Maeda will not return for 2022. Bailey Ober is slated for another rehab start Sunday in St. Paul. Cole Sands has just been activated from the 15 day IL, and replaces Louie Varland on the MLB squad. For more injury updates check out the Twins Daily Injury Updates thread.

Picks to click: Facing right-handed pitchers at home this year, Jake Cave is slugging .583 and Luis Arraez has a .403 wOBA. 

Odds: Coin flip, both teams -108 early Friday. 

Weather: Weather may be an issue, with rain chances between 40-65%. If a line of slow-moving showers settles over the ballpark, we may face a delay or even a postponement.

Lineups: 
Cleveland

1. Steven Kwan (L) LF
2. Amed Rosario (R) SS
3. Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
4. Josh Naylor (L) 1B
5. Oscar Gonzalez (R) RF
6. Andres Gimenez (L) 2B
7. Richie Palacios (L) DH
8. Austin Hedges (R) C
9. Myles Straw (R) CF
P. Quantrill (R)
 
Twins
1. Luis Arraez (L) 2B
2. Carlos Correa (R) SS
3. Jose Miranda (R) 1B
4. Nick Gordon (L) LF
5. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
6. Gary Sanchez (R) DH
7. Jake Cave (L) RF
8. Gilberto Celestino (R) CF
9. Sandy Leon (S) C
P. Bundy (R)
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Twins lineup:

S H-AB RBI HR SB AVG
L. Arraez2B 147-468 45 8 4 .314
C. CorreaSS 115-425 50 18 0 .271
J. Miranda1B 95-348 60 14 1 .273
N. GordonLF 88-320 36 6 6 .275
G. Urshela3B 107-408 53 11 1 .262
G. SanchezDH 76-347 48 14 2 .219
J. CaveRF 16-73 10 3 1 .219
G. CelestinoCF 61-246 19 2 1 .248
S. LeonC 9-57 4 0 0 .158

 

PLAYER W-L ERA WHIP IP H K BB HR
C. Quantrill 11-5 3.55 1.20 152.0 140 101 42 18
D. Bundy 8-6 4.34 1.22 118.1 119 84 25 16

 

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There is no comparison between the quality of the lineups put together for this crucial series in September. Due to injuries mostly, the Twins have three regulars who will exceed 502 plate appearances, the Guardians have five. In the starting lineups, the Guardians contains hitters with about 80 homers and 80 stolen bases. The current Twins lineup has about as many homers, but only 16 stolen bases. 

Cleveland has had injuries too, but the Twins don't have five of their regulars right now. I thought the death knell was when Polanco and Mahle went on the Injures List. They've lost too many key pieces to contend. If they can some way find their way into postseason, it won't be pretty.

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Tried to get to a Mussels game tonight. The last two nights were rained out so tonight was a DH. My mom and I got here at the top of the 4th only to have to move to shelter (lightning, they make everyone leave the seating area) in the bottom of the 4th. Summer baseball in southern Florida.

321BB7C7-558A-411E-8E08-92E2F06341EB.jpeg.98f9b7c90beb46cc5b7979f5c558df0b.jpeg

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34 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

Tried to get to a Mussels game tonight. The last two nights were rained out so tonight was a DH. My mom and I got here at the top of the 4th only to have to move to shelter (lightning, they make everyone leave the seating area) in the bottom of the 4th. Summer baseball in southern Florida.

321BB7C7-558A-411E-8E08-92E2F06341EB.jpeg.98f9b7c90beb46cc5b7979f5c558df0b.jpeg

Did they postpone or resumed?

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1 hour ago, bighat said:

A series loss pretty much ends the season, because 3.5 or 4.5 out with two teams ahead of them is an awful steep hill to climb with 22 games remaining. 

I agree winning this series is important but If they only win one they are 2.5 out, so still not over.

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5 minutes ago, Game7-91 said:

Whelp, hiw long b4 they call it? Looks like rain all night.....

Due to the point of the season, plus how the schedule for September looks (especially for Cleveland), I'm guessing that the powers that be will wait this rain out quite a while before making a decision. 

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7 minutes ago, IndyTwinsFan said:

Due to the point of the season, plus how the schedule for September looks (especially for Cleveland), I'm guessing that the powers that be will wait this rain out quite a while before making a decision. 

One future day we'll all be having this conversation the first week of November, wondering how long delayed will be the start of Game 3 of the World Series, due to the swirling snowstorm in Minneapolis.

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12 minutes ago, IndyTwinsFan said:

Due to the point of the season, plus how the schedule for September looks (especially for Cleveland), I'm guessing that the powers that be will wait this rain out quite a while before making a decision. 

Weather radar also looks hopeful.  "This too shall pass."

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9 minutes ago, Game7-91 said:

One future day we'll all be having this conversation the first week of November, wondering how long delayed will be the start of Game 3 of the World Series, due to the swirling snowstorm in Minneapolis.

Yeah when they built Target Field, they really didn’t think it through

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13 minutes ago, LVTwinsfan said:

The new shift rule says 4 infielders must be on the dirt. Does that mean you can’t play up for the bunt?

Just can't be on the outfield grass.

"

  • Upon release of each pitch, there must be a minimum of four defenders -- other than the battery -- with both feet within the outer boundary of the infield dirt. "
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11 minutes ago, LVTwinsfan said:

Yeah when they built Target Field, they really didn’t think it through

They didn't care they wanted an outdoor stadium and got one; the dummy dome sucked from the first day they played there.

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8 minutes ago, Game7-91 said:

Looking at Squirrels photo, looks like chalk lines either side of 2B are shift boundaries?

No idea what those are, myself. They don't seem to fit the new MLB rule.

"Per the league: 

  • Upon release of each pitch, there must be a minimum of four defenders -- other than the battery -- with both feet within the outer boundary of the infield dirt. 
  • Upon release of the pitch, there must be two of the four infielders on each side of second base. 
  • The team must designate two infielders for each side of second base and they cannot switch (for example, a team can't have a stud defender move back and forth based upon the handedness of the hitter). "

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-implements-rule-changes-for-2023-including-a-pitch-clock-and-defensive-shift-restrictions/

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Classic. All wierd plays. I miss pitcher's fielding. Jim Kaat makes that play. Greg Maddux makes it. Berrios and Ryan maybe make it, Correa gets ball but too late to make a throw.

And then meat from the starter

on another 0-2 count!

Down 4-0 in the first.

These pitchers aren't learning, 0-2 after 0-2 count meat. Truly remarkable.

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