Game Most Likely To See A Twins Comeback
The A’s have started this year the way they finished last year. You would think that would be a good thing for a team that made the postseason. It’s not. Oakland was 72-45 on August 9th and in first place in the AL West by four games. They finished ten games behind the Angels after finishing the year with only 16 wins in their last 45 game stretch. They held on – by one game – for the last Wild Card spot over Seattle, but lost the Wild Card play-in game to the Royals. They had the greatest run differential in the American League but it meant nothing within days of the end of the regular season.
Fast forward to this year, where the A’s have outscored their opponents by eighteen runs – but are somehow four games below .500 and in third place in the AL West. The biggest culprit seems to be a bullpen whose 4.92 ERA ranks last in the American League. They still have two relievers – Tyler Clippard and Evan Scribner – who are exceptional and can handle high leverage innings. But get their starters out in the middle innings and the A’s must rely on much less dependable arms.
Monday night’s A’s starter, Jesse Hahn, has just a 2.86 ERA, but he has yet to pitch more than six innings and the only time he made it through the sixth was in his first start of the year. Plus, he’s been dealing with a blister issue. Getting him – or any of the A’s starters – out of the game early bodes well for some late inning excitement in Target Field.
Game Most Likely To See Some Weird Sh… Stuff
Monday night is May the fourth, which sounds like “May the Force” which means it’s Star Wars Night at the ballpark. There is a special ticket offer which allows you to get a special “Hughes the Force” (which sounds like “Use the force”) bobblehead that has pitcher Phil Hughes dressed up like a Jedi.
It occurs to me that some of you have no idea what any of that previous paragraph means. Just trust me – there are going to be some bizarre things going on at Target Field that night, especially because it was also Comic Con weekend….oh, you don’t know what that is, either. Again, trust me. One way or the other, you’re going to remember Monday night.
Game To Go To If You’re A Minnesota Wild Fan
You’ll miss the first half of the Wild game if you go to Tuesday night’s Twins game. I might suggest going to the afternoon game on Thursday and then heading over to 7th Street for some pregaming before the 8:30 faceoff. Pace yourself.
Game Most Likely To See A Twins Win
The A’s starter on Wednesday night is Scott Kazmir, who has resurrected his career and is sporting a 1.62 ERA this year. He also beat the Twins twice last year, though they did score five runs against him in the second of those.
But other than Kazmir, things look quite a bit better. We’ve covered Hahn on Monday, and the other two starters have both been vulnerable. Drew Pomeranz, who starts on Thursday, hasn’t pitched more than 5.1 innings since his first start of the year. And Jesse Chavez, who starts Tuesday, was just moved into the rotation.
Winner: Thursday, and I say that knowing full well that Ricky Nolasco is pitching for the Twins.
Game Most Likely To Stay Dry
After having a gorgeous weekend, the week looks like it’s going to be wet, which is the way it should be. It doesn’t look like there will be any rainouts, but Monday is the only night without a decent chance of rain.
At least if it rains on you on Thursday, it won’t ruin your shoes. You can wear the flip-flops that the Twins are giving to the first 10,000 fans for that afternoon game. Nothing says “I value you as a client” more than seeing each others' bare feet.