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  1. Good Morning Twins fans! We have an early Monday game today. This is a make-up game from earlier this year against the Detroit Tigers. After the ugly loss against Milwaukee yesterday the Twins will try to get back on track today against the lowly Tigers. For the rest of the year I'm somewhat hesitant to cheer for my beloved Twins. At this point being 18 games behind the White Sox I'm cheering for a better draft pick next year. However, I'd still like to see the new kids being pulled up from minors perform well and build that confidence for next year. I'm encouraging people to post comments to the Game Thread from work today (for those of us working). Make sure you leave out any NSFW comments today if posting from work. Keep it clean and professional. For those of you posting from home you can take a little more risk. Beware however, Twins Daily Moderators are always patrolling these Game Thread waters. If you are posting from work, it would be fun to share what you do for a living. If you are participating today from home and looking for a full-time job in manufacturing, PM me and we can discuss job opportunities. We need more people asap, especially 2nd shift! Maybe Twins Daily can start a job posting section??? Subject to Moderator approval of course. Enjoy today's early matinee ballgame! I'll be listening to it on the radio. Go Twins! Today's Lineups: TWINS: 1. Luis Arraez, 3B 2. Byron Buxton, CF 3. Jorge Polanco, 2B 4. Josh Donaldson, DH 5. Max Kepler, RF 6. Miguel Sano, 1B 7. Nick Gordon, LF 8. Ryan Jeffers, C 9. A. Simmons, SS P - Baily "it ain't" Ober (R) TIGERS: 1. Akil Baddoo, LF 2. J. Schoop, 1B 3. J. Candelario, 3B 4. M. Cabrera, DH 5. Eric Haase, C 6. H. Castro, 2B 7. Victor Reyes, RF 8. Zach Short, SS 9. Derek Hill, CF P - Casey Mize (R) Weather: Partly cloudy and 83 degrees.
  2. Good morning Twins fans and welcome to the "just another manic Monday" workday edition of a Game Thread extravaganza! I'm writing this introduction sitting at my desk and trying to get WCCO to come in more clearly on the radio. The building I'm in does an excellent job of keeping out radio signals...I might have to migrate to internet radio so I can listen to the ball game this afternoon if I can't get the antenna dialed in. I am expecting another fun filled game like yesterday's Easter smack down on the Brewers. Detroit has been playing ok but I believe the Twins will run away with this today. It will be fun to see if Arraez can keep up the torrid pace of making it on base too. That kid really is an exciting hitter to watch. I'm also interested in seeing how Shoemaker does on the mound today. The pitching has been more than solid the last few games. Hopefully everyone who is at work today can join in the game thread fun without getting into trouble from some prying IT or HR person. Those of you working from home or that have the day off should have no excuses for not participating today...I'm sure the sunny 80 degree weather in Minneapolis won't be a distraction for most of you either. Todays line up looks ok. Would prefer to see Donaldson and Buxton but excited to see how Rooker plays. A lot of familiar faces in the lineup today with the Tigers...Grossman, Schoop, Baddoo. Here's what we have on tap for today's game: TWINS: 1. L. Arraez (3B) 2. J. Polanco (2B) 3. Nelson Cruz (DH) 4. Max Kepler (RF) 5. B. Rooker (LF) 6. J Cave (CF) 7. M. Sano (1B) 8. R. Jeffers © 9. A. Simmons (SS) SP - Matt Shoemaker (RHP) TIGERS: 1. R. Grossman (LF) 2. J. Candelario (3B) 3. W. Castro (SS) 4. M. Cabrera (DH) 5. N. Mazara (RF) 6. J. Schoop (1B) 7. W. Ramos © 8. N. Goodrum (2B) 9. A Baddoo (CF) SP - Jose Urena (RHP) Weather in Detroit: Game time temperature 60 degrees. 2% chance of precipitation.
  3. Happy Labor Day weekend Twins fans and welcome back to more game thread action! The Twins are on a roll and finally playing with a little more fire in the belly. Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer (technically it's September 22nd but whatever) my point is, there is not a lot of regular season baseball left to play. I would really like to see a 12+ game winning streak heading into the playoffs. Momentum will be the key to making it through the Covid type playoff system MLB designed this year. Also need to do a quick shout out to Byron Buxton, nice work last night!!! When I walked outside this morning to survey last nights hail damage, I turned on the radio to start my day and Boston's "More than a Feeling" came on...it got me thinking about past Labor Day weekends...For some reason, Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer always made a mark on me when I was younger. I still vividly remember the popular songs that played on the radio those late August and early September days in the 70's and 80's. Then I started thinking about truly end of summer songs. Which songs qualify as "end of summer songs"? I'm not really sure but decided to make a short list anyway and share the ones that come to mind. I know there's a lot more but figured this was a good start. I might as well turn up the volume, play a few of these while enjoying the last of the sunshine, warmth and humidity (tomorrow's forecast in Minneapolis is 59 degrees and rain) while watching the Twins beat up on Detroit this afternoon. End of summer songs. A short playlist by Twinssporto: "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley "Night Moves" by Bob Seger "Wake me up when September Ends" by Green Day "Summer Nights" by Grease cast "Summers Almost Gone" by The Doors "Hot Fun in the Summertime" by Sly and the family Stone (first of the fall and then she goes back, bye, bye, bye, bye there...) Go Twins! Today's Lineups: Brace yourself folks, it's kinda ugly... TWINS: 1. Jorge Polanco (SS) 2. Luis Arraez (2B) 3. Miguel Sano (1B) 4. Eddie Rosario (LF) 5. Brent Rooker (DH) 6. LaMonte Wade (RF) 7. Jake Cave (CF) 8. Ehire Adrianza (3B) 9. W. Astudillo © SP - Rich Hill (LHP) TIGERS: 1. V. Reyes (CF) 2. J. Schoop (2B) 3. M. Cabrera (DH) 4. J. Candelario (1B) 5. W. Castro (SS) 6. J. Bonifacio (LF) 7. T. Demeritte (RF) 8. G. Greiner © 9. S. Alcanatra (3B) SP - Casey Mize (RHP) Weather: Partly cloudy and windy. 83 degrees with a 10% chance of rain.
  4. The Twins host the Tigers in game four of their five game series, Rich Hill faces off against Casey Mize. This is anyone's game as the Twins are sitting Buxton and Donaldson. However, with game five tomorrow and a doubleheader against St. Louis on Tuesday, one would say resting them is warranted. The top five of the Twins lineup is deadly and it is nice to have Arraez back. This game comes down to context; baby blue jersey's, 75 degrees and sunny, and home field advantage. Detroit has lost the last three and the third by a walk-off infield hit, falling 6.5 games out of first, with a .459 winning percentage. Meanwhile, the Twins are 17-4 at home, and only a half-game out of first place. Expecting Cleveland to win with Shane Bieber pitching, and Chicago to win with Dallas Keuchal on the hill, this game is critical for the Twinkies. I believe the Twins will step up to the challenge, taking game four by a score of 5-3.
  5. Kenta Maeda faces off against 23-year-old Tarik Skubal as the Twins take on the Tigers tonight at 6:10PM. Maeda looks to rekindle his fire after dropping a tough one in Detroit. Maeda had eight strikeouts on three runs in six innings of work, but was outmatched by Casey Mize who gave up two runs in three innings of work. This is a revenge game for Maeda, and Detroit knows it. Twins fans will see a peak performance from Kenta tonight. Kenta is much more mechanically sound than Skubal. Maeda has maintained the same delivery throughout his career and it is becoming evident he has perfected it. Maeda has good separation and nice rhythm and tempo. As his front foot plants, he initiates rotation, bringing his arms close to his center of rotation (trunk). This enables him to rotate quicker, and have tighter spin on his pitches. Imagine a figure skater doing a twirl in the air. They start with their arms separated, then swing them close to their body upon their spin. Kenta Maeda does this in the realm of pitching. The closer your throwing arm is to your center of rotation, the safer it is for your glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint). I have attached a side by side to showcase what I mean. Nolan Ryan was exceptionally good at getting his throwing arm within his center of rotation. A good rule of thirds is an acute angle. In the side by side, you will notice Maeda’s arm is just within 90 degrees, while Nolan’s is clearly within 90 degrees. As he begins his rotation, his arm will move like a lasso, and his release point will be farther from his center of rotation (Pretend you are holding a baseball at release, how did you get there?). If you are familiar with the term, “layback” then I will sum it up like this. Layback is inevitable when you are throwing over 90MPH. Beginning rotation with your pitching arm farther from your center of rotation will put more stress on your glenohumeral joint, as it is not a natural motion. Getting your arm within 90 degrees upon rotation will lead to much safer layback. Now, onto Tarik Skubal. First off, this kid is only 23. You are not going to come to Minnesota as fresh meat and beat a seasoned vet. Tarik Skubal has a terrible glove side action. He has good separation and a bad arm action, which leads me to believe he has freak strength. I decided to add him to the picture to showcase how NOT to look upon rotation. When he rotates, he naturally loads his scapula’s, however, when he is fully rotated and beginning to throw, his glove side does nothing. You could cut this guy’s arm off and he’d still throw the same. In conclusion, Twins win 10-2.
  6. The Twins will pitch Randy Dobnak against Matt Boyd today as the Twins take on the Tigers in game one of their doubleheader. Dobnak enters the season at 6-2 with his last start being an 8-2 loss (against the Tigers), giving up six runs on 12 hits. In Boyd’s last start (against the Twins), he gave up two runs on four hits, in six innings of a seven-inning game.Other than being the home team, I do not like this matchup. First off, Boyd is a lefty and Dobnak is a righty, as an ex-left-handed pitcher I am biased (sorry not sorry). I do, however, like Dobnak’s scapular load/unload. Oh, and his mustache, of course. This game sets the tone for the rest of the series. Matt Boyd has only gotten better as the season has progressed, and Dobnak has proved himself worthy as a starter. To win, the sticks will need to come alive. Even if the Twins go up big, leave Dobnak in until he reaches his pitch count of 90-100 pitches. This will save the bullpen for the rest of the five-game series. In conclusion, this game is seen as a must-win for both teams, both teams want this game badly. I don’t see a blowout in this game, whether it is 8-7 or 4-3, this will be a close one. Give the Twins the edge with home-field advantage and just winning a series against a red hot Chicago White Sox. After a day of rest, you don’t want to play the Twins at home during a day game.
  7. The Twins have the day off as they prepare for a five game series against the Detroit Tigers. They will play a double-header tomorrow, with each team getting one game as the home team. This comes after last weekend’s postponements in Detroit between the two teams. This series is pivotal for the Twins as they are well past the halfway marker of a 60-game season, sitting in third place. The Twins have no reason not to take five out of five games. However, this series will not come easy as Detroit news outlets, too, are beginning to run stories about their supposed playoff run. It would be naïve to suggest Detroit does not want this series just as bad as Minnesota does. The Tigers are just five games out of third place and will have a five game series in attempt to swap places in the standings. Other than the Royals, every team in the American League has a win percentage above .500. So, although the Twins have five more wins than the Tigers, the difference in win percentages is mere decimals. The Tigers are not shabby when it comes to offense, collecting 32 runs in their last five games, compared to Minnesota’s 20. If Twins starting pitchers can get at least six innings a piece, I like our chances…. Seven innings, I really like our chances. However, Detroit has a nice pair of arms themselves. Casey Mize and Matt Boyd have pitched well. However, neither throw a 12/6 curveball which in my opinion, is the best off-speed pitch in baseball. Being in Minneapolis, no one is concerning themselves with this young talent coming out of Detroit, more so making themselves aware. With Michael Pineda, Josh Donaldson, and Byron Buxton returning, the Twinkies have their own interests in mind… returning to their natural form. Everyone was in a frenzy about the Twins making no moves at the trade deadline. The reality is, no one (fans or management) wanted to give anyone up for what we were looking for (a stud pitcher). Take this as a positive sign. The Twins lineup is comprised of players coming primarily from Minnesota’s farm system teams, Luis Arràez and Byron Buxton to name a few. To compliment this, management added two great veteran talents in Josh Donaldson (an infielder), and Nelson Cruz (an outfielder). There is no question these guys have been role models to this young Twins team, helping develop everyone around them, including themselves. The Twins have something that is highly undervalued, team chemistry. Leadership, chemistry, and talent will carry this team far. When healthy, the Twins have one of the deadliest lineups in baseball. Keep in mind the Twins started the season off 10-2 with series victories over the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox, some of the most competitive teams in the MLB. Keep your heads up Twins fans, the Twins will take at least four of five from Detroit this weekend.
  8. The Twins face the Tigers in a doubleheader in Detroit. Detroit and Kansas City are well behind the leaders in the AL Central. The Tigers appear better, but still aren't contenders for postseason. They face Matthew Boyd and Terik Skubal, both left handers. Boyd has struggled so far while Skubal is making his third start. The Twins open the series as co-leaders along with both Chicago and Cleveland. They still are struggling offensively and the bullpen has lost a couple of games in part because the starters aren't giving much length. They will probably go with a bullpen game in Game 2, most likely using 29th man the so-far disappointing Lewis Thorpe and new call-up (and ex-White Sox) Juan Minaya. Fourteen innings with an extra arm in the bullpen wouldn't be too much of a strain on bullpen, which is fresh with the last two games postponed. Lineups for Game 1: Twins (20-12) Polanco ss Sanó 1b Cruz dh Gonzalez rf Vargas 2b Rosario lf Adrianza 3b Kepler cf Avila c Dobnak (p) 5-1 1.78 ERA Detroit (13-16) Reyes rf Schoop 2b Cabrera dh Candelario 1b Goodrum ss Jones cf Stewart lf Romine c Castro 3b Boyd (p) 0-4 8.48 ERA
  9. With the breakdown of how things will work in Strat-O-Land, let's simulate another game. This is based off Friday's bout with the Tigers. Box Score Summary The Twins first inning saw singles from Garver, Cruz, and Cron, followed by a bases-clearing double by Marwin Gonzalez. It appears this offense is as devastating in Strat-O-Land as in real life. Pineda started off great with 6 of his first 8 outs being strikeouts... but then he got crushed by Christin Stewart, who knocked in a 2 run HR in the 3rd inning against him. The 4th inning didn't go much better with a single, double, and walk that loaded the bases. Pineda was able to get 2 strikeouts and a flyout to escape that mess. Polanco, who was 0 for 8 in Strat-O-Land thus far, lead the 4th off with a home run. The offense quieted down until the 6th inning arrived. Buxton reached on an error and Polanco doubled, followed by a pitching change and a walk to Garver. This loaded the bases for Nelson Cruz, who grounded out to third, but he did drive in a run to make it 5-2. Pineda turned in a good 6 inning start, and Morin delivered a perfect 7th. Things got very hairy in the 8th inning when Harper gave up a double to Cabrera and then two singles. I pulled him for Duffey, who had a groundball hit to SS but Polanco errored on it, and then Lugo hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4. Duffey then gave up a double to the 9th hitter, Jacoby Jones, and the Tigers tied it up. And if you thought that's where this ended... nope! Duffey gave up another double to Goodrum which gave the Tigers their first lead at 6-5, and then Stewart singled. I yanked Duffey for Parker who then gave up an RBI double to Nick Castellanos, which gave them a 8-5 lead. Wow... 6 runs, changing this from a Twins 3 run lead to a Tigers 3 run lead. Brutal! Garver hit a double in the 9th, but Greene shut the rest of the crew down, sealing a 8-5 win for the Tigers. Well that was disappointing! Darn, I felt like we had that one. I guess the game knows the Twins' bullpen is a weak spot in real life! We'll head into our next matchup 1-1 and hope for some better pitching.
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