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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. I was at a loss as to what to write for this series opener. So, I consulted with my very good friend, Christopher Robin to see if I could find some good insight into the Detroit Tiggers: Quickly realizing that Christopher Robin might not be the best source for information about the Detroit Tiggers, I decided to look elsewhere for inspiration that didn't involve much perspiration. *Yeah, that character was modeled on me trying to come up with ideas for game threads. Yes, we're going to ignore the fact the movie came out long before TD and the web became ubiquitous. After the Twins decided spotting the Sox a couple of games at home was a bad idea, they brought the broom out for the initial three game series in Chicago. Now, hopefully, the broom is in safe storage, awaiting use after the Twins are done with Detroit. With that, Reader poll! (I say "poll," you say, "trying to see if anyone is paying attention.") 1. Femme Fatale of black and white movie era: Bette Davis or Barbara Stanwyck? 2. Comedic actress of the black and white era: Irene Dunn or Gracie Allen? 3. Best noir detective: Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum? 4. Best suspense director: Alfred Hitchcock or George Cukor? Lineups: 5. Play ball!
  10. 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.
  11. Today, the Twins take on the Tigers, managed by Ron Gardenhire. After the series sweep in Toronto, I thought I'd look into starting pitching numbers, specifically, wins. Currently, the Twins are 23-12 with Twins starters having collected 20 of those 23 wins. Twins have decent starting pitching. Who'd a thunk it? For some reason, it seems me it's sort of important that Twins starters are picking up the majority of the wins. And, as we all know, numbers don't lie. And now, for some things to think about: 1. Berrios 2. Odorizzi 3. Perez 4. Gibson Pitching for the Twins: Jake Odorizzi Pitching for the Tigers: Tyson Ross. 5. Play ball!
  12. Despite the outcome of the last game the Twins played against the Mets, the Twins still came away with a winning road trip. An outcome that was lacking last year. Unfortunately, the Twins return home to play the Tigers, managed by ex-Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire, who appears to have his club playing well. At least, according to the standings. And, more importantly, the Twins get to put the silly "futility player" of the NL behind them. Yes, I mean the lack of DH where the pitcher "hits," hence, "futility player." With that, we move on to more pressing matters, such as, pitching. Specifically, starting pitching. More specifically, the starting pitching today. Twins: Michael Pineda Detroit: Tyson Ross. Looks to be a good one...for a Twins win, amiright! Play ball!
  13. Good morning and welcome back to another Game Thread experience! It's an absolutely beautiful day here in Minneapolis. Feels like summer has finally arrived. I walked outside this morning to take the trash out and you could smell the green grass and lilacs in the air. The birds were singing and it was warm enough to wear shorts at 6:30AM. It's such a beautiful day I'm trying to come up with an excuse to skip going into the office. In fact, I may go buy a ticket and watch the Twins put another whipping to the Tigers this afternoon. My dilemma is coming up with an appropriate excuse to blow off work. I doubt I'm the only one in this situation today. According to CareerBuilder.com 40% of workers have taken a fake sick day in the last 12 months. I've Googled a few ideas and thought I would share with my Twins Daily friends some great excuses to skip work to watch the Twins today. I've tried to sort through some of these and put a skill level ranking to each of them. I know some people can believe their own lies (which makes them true) but others have a hard time being untruthful, hence the skill rankings. Remember, if you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. Just one more quick tip. Keep your excuse brief! Don't go into an elaborate explanation. The longer the excuse the more likely your employer will think you're lying. Here we go. Good excuses for blowing off work today and watching the Twins: *Disclaimer: Twins Daily, it's affiliates and author of this post do not take responsibility for you getting canned or written up by your employer. If you wish to avoid that from happening go to work like every other law abiding citizen or start working for yourself. #1.) I think I have food poisoning. Skill level required 4. This is a great one to use especially for the people who are unaccustomed to being a slacker. Email your boss and say you ate something bad the night before. Tell them its coming out both ends. No one wants to hear the details and will most likely let this one go through without a thought. If you want to add an even better twist to this, tell them you ate some bad Romaine lettuce a few days prior. #2.) I have a horrible migraine. Skill level required 5. If you decide to play this card its important you know the actual symptoms of a migraine. Google it if you don't know. If you decide to call your boss instead of emailing make sure you talk with a soft voice and tell them you can barely open your eyes because you're so sensitive to light. Pro tip: Tell your boss you finally understand how Byron Buxton feels when he gets migraines. #3.) I have a series of tests today with a doctor. Skill level required 6. This is a great excuse. When most people say they are doing a round of tests with a doctor they automatically think its something serious. It's better to use this excuse than just saying I have a doctors appointment. The skill level for this is higher because if your boss is genuinely concerned they may probe for more details. You need to be prepared to make up some crazy disease. The beauty of this approach is that you can say the next day all the tests came back negative and you are healthy. #4.) I am going to a funeral. Skill level 8. This is a harder one to pull off. Not impossible but it can be tricky. Whenever you add an outside influence to your excuse it opens the door to uncontrolled chaos. What do you do if the boss wants to send flowers? What do you do if they ask to see the funeral program? Who died? Why did they die? What did they die from? How did you know them? How were you related? The list goes on and on...Only professionals should use this one. (Authors Note: I'm not joking, my business partner just called me while writing this and told me he was going to be out for most of the day attending a funeral). I started laughing when he told me about it. He asked, "why are you laughing?" I told him what my game thread intro was about today. He started laughing too. He really is going to a funeral. #5.) I'm having car trouble. Skill level 9. This can be an effective excuse but it can also come with unintended consequences. Hence the skill level of 9. If you're not a motor head it can be difficult to describe what is wrong with your vehicle. The best thing to do here is just say it won't start. If you live close to someone you work with be prepared to have them pick you up later that morning or God forbid your boss says they will come and get you. They can also say get an Uber to pick you up and we'll pay for it. Any of those scenarios are bad if you're sitting inside Target Field when that call comes through. #6.) I'm going to the Twins game today. Skill level 1. Honesty is the best policy. You may lose a vacation day or a sick day but it is an option. Not much fun but its still an option. I hope I've helped our Twins Daily community with these insights and aided in lowering our nations productivity. Oh, before I forget. The following excuses for missing work are not recommended: I'm still drunk, I got arrested, I have to testify against a drug dealer, I'm too hungover, my dog turned off my alarm clock. Get out and enjoy the day! Go Twins! Lineups: TWINS 1. Brian Dozier 2B ® 2. Max Kepler RF (L) 3. Eddie Rosario DH (L) 4. Eduardo Escobar 3B (S) 5. Logan Morrison 1B (L) 6. Jake Cave LF (L) 7. Ehire Adrianza SS (S) 8. Bobby Wilson C ® 9. Byron Buxton CF ® Kyle Gibson SP ® TIGERS 1. Leonys Martin CF (L) 2. Nicholas Castellanos RF ® 3. Victor Martinez DH (S) 4. Niko Goodrum 3B (S) 5. John Hicks 1B ® 6. JaCoby Jones LF ® 7. Grayson Greiner C ® 8. Jose Iglesias SS ® 9. Dixon Machado 2B ® Michael Fulmer SP ® Weather: 78 degrees. Rain possible. Where did this rain come from??? Serious. I just checked and it looks like rain is on its way. I might go back to work...
  14. http://calvinayre.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/pete-rose-baseball-betting.jpg Welcome to another Twins Daily Game Thread. I need to open this Game Thread introduction with an apology. Technically today turned out to be a double header. I had the Game Thread introduction last night and today. I probably should have done two Game Thread introductions today but failed at my job. Please forgive my lack of discipline. Rain delays and postponed games can raise holy hell with the MLB schedules this time of year. Now back to business. I had to drive to Rochester, MN today from Minneapolis and figured I would have a little quality time to come up with something funny or witty to lead this Game Thread tonight but came up with nothing. The way things have gone this year its really hard to get excited about this team (with the exception of Dozier...HR 42 today!). Not much to laugh about... So, in order to make our evening more fun regardless of how we play, I thought it would be humorous and exciting to gamble a little bit on the game tonight. This won't be like Pete Rose gambling but there will prizes awarded tonight for winners of each category. I will tally everything at the end of the night and send out awards based on performance. The categories are simple and provide everyone with an equal shot at winning. Here are the categories: 1. Pick the total number of broken bats in the game (players who break bats over their knee count too) 2. How many total coaching visits to the mound for both teams? 3. Total length of game (closest to it without going over wins) 4. Total strikeouts in the game 5. Total stolen bases for the game 6. Pick the click...Choose the Twins player who will have the best night at the plate A few minor rules: You can bet on all categories or just one or two. Totally up to you. Individuals can win in multiple categories. All bets need to be placed no later than the 4th inning. Ties are decided by me. Protests go to Chief for final arbitration. Disclaimers from Moderators: No gambling occurs on the TD Website. TD is not a casino. TD members who do not meet the eligibility requirements to claim a prize should consider the prize void. Prizes are not redeemable for cash or other prizes. TD reserves the right to refuse to award any prize to any person without giving any reason whatsoever. Winners are responsible for all taxes associated with prizes. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited, etc., etc. Step right up and place your bets Twins fans! Go Twins! Lineups: Still pending because of the double hitter today. Will post as soon as they come up. Weather: 68 degrees and overcast skies. Light and variable winds 5-8mph. Chance of rain 20%
  15. Last game before the All-Star Break …. A win today would put the Twins at 49-40 or .551. Who’d a thunk it? (Or dreamed it?) First up, the weather and line-ups: Gametime Forecast: 82°F • Mostly Cloudy • 0% PoP Looks like a perfect afternoon in the TC (its hot here). Detroit Tigers – RHP Shane Green (4-6, 5.82 ERA) – called up to make his first major league start since June 10. He gave up 22 runs in 14 2/3 innings to lose his final four outings before being demoted to Triple-A Toledo, where he was 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA in five starts (FSN Sports). 1. Ian Kinsler ® 2B 2. Yoenis Cespedes ® LF 3. Victor Martinez (S) DH 4. J.D. Martinez ® RF 5. Alex Avila (L) C 6. Nick Castellanos ® 3B 7. Marc Krauss (L) 1B 8. Anthony Gose (L) CF 9. Jose Iglesias ® SS Minnesota Twins – RHP Kyle Gibson (7-6, 3.04), tries to win four straight starts for the first time in his three-year career. He's posted a 1.74 ERA in the last three (FSN). He’s been masterful in recent games. 1. Brian Dozier ® 2B 2. Torii Hunter ® RF 3. Joe Mauer (L) 1B 4. Miguel Sano ® DH 5. Trevor Plouffe ® 3B 6. Eddie Rosario (L) LF 7. Aaron Hicks (S) CF 8. Eric Fryer ® C 9. Danny Santana (S) SS And a few thoughts: 1. Congrats to Glen Perkins and Brian Dozier. I was bummed at Ned Yost for putting Moustakas on the final ballot because it was such a set-up. But all finally worked out. May Perkins and Dozier both get to play – and play well. 2. The offense is finally heating up along with the weather. Some really solid performances – lots of confidence at the plate. So much fun to have different heroes in different games. 3. Health – the Twins have been pretty fortunate on the health front (Nolasco and Buxton excluded). The depth of the team and the farm system are really helpful. 4. Food – what will Brian attempt today? I’m offering pulled pork and Chinese Cole Slaw if anyone wants to visit NW Iowa. 5. Congrats to J.O. Berrios on his start in the futures game. Looking forward to seeing you in the show! 6. Tigers – Hold Those Tigers! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8GY_ZT0kEE 7. And a last quick thought from Jon Morosi: Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi · 5m5 minutes ago #Tigers are 8 or more games out of first place in July for the first time since 2005. Let's keep 'em there, Twins!!! That’s it! Enjoy the game and look for a 3-1 split.
  16. It’s fairly shocking to see the Twins and Tigers in a virtual tie for 2nd place, especially considering how poorly the Twins have played in Tigers-Twins games. To make some sense of this enigma, I decided to compare the two team using some simple metrics, excluding their head-to-head games: Minus their head-to-head games, the Twins and Tigers seem relatively evenly matched. The Tigers look like a slightly superior offensive club based on their ability to get on base. The Twins, on the other hand, look like a slightly superior pitching club based on their control and ability to keep the ball in the ballpark. Some of these slight differences are somewhat surprising, but they make more sense if you consider ballparks. Next, let’s compare the teams in terms of overall performance: Based on this, it is clear that the Twins have done a lot more than the Tigers with essentially the same performance. Essentially, their tie for second-place seems to be only because of the Twins’ over-performance and the Tigers’ under-performance. Finally, let’s compare these teams with Team C. Team C seems to be better than or equal to both the Twins and Tigers in virtually every measure except HR allowed. And Team C’s overall performance is excellent, though not quite as videogame-ish as the 2015 Twins minus Tigers games. Who is Team C? The 2006 Twins, who were arguably the best Twins team during the Gardenhire era, finishing 96-66 (3 games better than their Pythagorean record). So how can we explain the Twins’ crappy performance against the Tigers so far this season? Here are 4 possibilities: 1. Statistical regression toward the Twins’ actual playing ability has mostly occurred during games with the Tigers 2. The Twins don’t “match up” well with the Tigers 3. Small sample size 4. The Twins have a psychological block against the Tigers In reality, there’s probably a kernel of truth to all of these things. Possibilities 1 and 2 are fairly self-explanatory, although it’s also worth pointing out that the 2011-2014 Twins teams played substantially better against the Tigers than this 2015 team so far, which seems to support possibility 3. Possibility 4 may be the most intriguing. Perhaps the Twins, on the brink of becoming a contender, are intimidated by a Tigers team that has been the class of the division since 2011. In essence, these Twins may be so used to perceiving themselves as a second-tier team compared to the Tigers that their perceptions actually play out on the field in head-to-head games. This wouldn’t be the first time this has happened to a Twins team on the brink of contention; you may recall the 2001 Twins, who went 5-14 against the Indians and lost the division to them by 6 games. I wouldn’t be surprised if this year plays out similarly with respect to the Tigers and Twins. It’s also interesting to consider the Twins decent performance against the Royals, who are clearly a phenomenal team but don’t have the years of winning to enhance their ‘intimidation factor.’ In any case, I’m excited to see how the Twins’ performance against the Tigers – and everyone else – plays out over the rest of the season.
  17. Starters: Phil Hughes (0-4, 4.39 ERA, 4.58 FIP) VS Shane Greene (3-1, 3.00 ERA, 2.97 FIP) 1: Phil Hughes – Will He Get That Win Today? It’s hard not to notice that 0-4 record of Phil’s. It seems like he just can’t catch a break. The Twins defense has been pretty bad behind him, but his 4.58 FIP suggests it’s more his fault than the defense’s. However, I believe one of the main reasons why is the lack of run support. Over Phil Hughes 4 starts, the Twins have scored… 4 runs!! Just 4! (0, 2, 2, 0) It’s kinda hard to win games when you have no offense to back you. Phil was in a groove last start, but so was Felix Hernandez, so Hughes got the loss. The keys to this game belong to the offense. Cross your fingers and hope for that first win. Yes, you have to cross them for the whole game! Once Hughes gets that first win, I think the second and third and so on victories will be easier to get. 2: Shane Greene Most of us haven't heard of Shane Greene before the 2015 season started. He's had a solid first 4 starts in Detroit, winning 3 of them. Greene had a promising rookie season with the Yankees last year in which he had an ERA of 3.78, a FIP of 3.73, and a K/9 of 9.3. That's very impressive for his first 14 starts of his career. This guy is only 26, so he reminds me of Trevor May and Kyle Gibson. Actually, if Gibson and May were throwing like Greene right now, I think the Twins would get a few more wins on the season. One more thing. Greene hasn't allowed a single home run this season. He probably won't give up one today. 3: Mornings “The early bird gets the worm.” Yeah, but the early bird also gets a nice headache and has to drink coffee just to get itself ready to face the day. As you can probably guess… I am not a morning person. I am a night owl. My brain is open from noon to midnight, and if you try to reach me at any other time, I won’t be fully awake. So when it comes to baseball that starts at 12:10, that’s a bit early for me. Especially because my body is begging to get one more hour of sleep while I’m typing this. Don’t worry about me, though, I’ll be fine… zzzzzzzzzzzz… *snores* 4: Lineup Analysis Twins 1. Danny Santana (S) SS 2. Brian Dozier ® 2B 3. Joe Mauer (L) DH 4. Trevor Plouffe ® 3B 5. Oswaldo Arcia (L) RF 6. Eduardo Escobar (S) LF 7. Kennys Vargas (S) 1B 8. Chris Herrmann (L) C 9. Jordan Schafer (L) CF SP: Phil Hughes Tigers 1. Rajai Davis ® CF 2. Ian Kinsler ® 2B 3. Miguel Cabrera ® 1B 4. Victor Martinez (S) DH 5. J.D. Martinez ® RF 6. Yoenis Cespedes ® LF 7. Nick Castellanos ® 3B 8. James McCann ® C 9. Andrew Romine (S) SS SP: Shane Greene My analysis of the Twins lineup: There’s not too much to talk about. We have an Eduardo Alert in left field and Herrmann catching. The biggest news here is the return of Kennys Vargas to the lineup. Has he gotten that swing under control? Is he going to calm down and not let pitchers get the best of him? I’m interested to see because I want this kid to succeed. 5: White Sox at Baltimore I’m sure most of you have already seen this in the news, and there’s probably a thread about it going on in the “Other Baseball” forum, but if you haven’t, two games in Baltimore have been postponed due to the riots and protesting. However, today there is going to be a game in Baltimore… with it being closed to the public! It will be the first major league game EVER without any fans in attendance. That’s just crazy, in my opinion. I do wonder how it’ll go. I’m not going to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong concerning the Freddie Gray incident. I will be praying and hoping for healing and peace in the Baltimore area.
  18. Starters: Mike Pelfrey (1-0, 2.65 ERA, 5.43 FIP) VS Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 5.96 ERA, 4.80 FIP) Hello, everybody! I’m going to be tonight’s entertainment, so please, sit back and relax. Let’s see how my first game thread goes. 1: Mike Pelfrey OK, let’s get a few things cleared up first. Some of you may remember me trashing Pelfrey and saying he doesn’t deserve any more chances in the rotation. But now I look stupid for saying that, don’t I? Pelfrey has an ERA of 2.65 and has had pretty good starts in the last two games. So what do I think about him now? The main thing is that he’s finally healthy. He’s throwing that fastball at 93 MPH and he’s clearly in better form than last season. He looks like he can actually become that #5 starter like we thought he could! However, Pelfrey’s ERA is the only positive stat I see. His FIP is suggesting that he’s getting pretty lucky and he only has a K/9 of 4.2. His ratio of strikeouts to walks is 1.14. I’m no statistics wizard, but that’s not a good looking stat right there. I think Pelfrey’s future is in the bullpen. At this point, he’ll be a better option that Boyer, Stauffer, and Thielbar. But I’ll leave that discussion for when Nolasco returns or when Santana returns. Anyways, Pelfrey’s numbers (according to ESPN’s stats) against the current Tigers batters are .314/.417/.371. The AVR and OBP are a bit higher than you’d like to see, but Pelfrey doesn’t give up extra base hits to them. He hasn’t given up a single homer to any current Tigers batter! I may not be a big Pelfrey fan, but I think he can win this one today. He’ll let plenty of runners on base from singles and walks, but if he can get out of jams, the Twins can win. 2: Anibal Sanchez What’s up with Anibal? He’s got an ERA of 5.96! Small sample sizes aside, I took a closer look at the numbers. He’s got a K/9 of 9.9 and a BB/9 of 3.2, so those don’t look bad… oh, here we go! He’s given up 5 HRs in his first four starts. The Tigers entire rotation has given up just 7 HRs, and Sanchez is accountable for 5 of them! Unfortunately, Sanchez is lights out versus the current Twins team. Using those nifty ESPN stats again, the Twins bat .163/.235/.228. Yikes! 29% of those ABs end in strikeouts! Only one current Twins batter has hit a HR off of Sanchez. Who is it? Whoever can guess this right first will get to choose the “Rally” animal, whether you want it to be the Rally Monkey, Rally Rhino, Rally Olsen Twins (ugh), or whatever you like. 3: Lineup Analysis Twins 1: SS Danny Santana 2: RF Torii Hunter 3: 1B Joe Mauer 4: 3B Trevor Plouffe 5: DH Eduardo Nunez 6: 2B Eduardo Escobar 7: LF Oswaldo Arcia 8: C Kurt Suzuki 9: CF Jordan Schafer SP: Mike Pelfrey Tigers 1: CF Gose 2: 2B Kinsler 3: 1B Cabrera 4: DH Martinez, V 5: RF Martinez, JD 6: LF Cespedes 7: C Avila 8: 3B Castellanos 9: SS Iglesias SP: Anibal Sanchez My analysis: Brian Dozier is getting the night off and Escobar is starting in his place. I’d bet that if Dozier got hurt for an extended amount of time, Escobar would get the call. Another note – this is the third straight game without Kennys Vargas. Is he working on his swing with the batting coach? Is Nunez actually a better option? At this point, they have to consider demoting Vargas to AAA and calling up Pinto. I’d much rather see Pinto at DH than Nunez. One last thing. Jordan Schafer’s career VS Anibal Sanchez: 2 for 14 with 8 strikeouts. I think I’d rather see Shane Robinson in CF tonight. 4: My Avatar and Past Twins Here’s my chance to talk about something random like Riverbrian does! I couldn’t think of anything better to talk about, so time to talk about my avatar! Yes, it’s the picture of Matthew LeCroy talking on a baseball phone. When I was a wee lad, I watched the Twins and rooted for my favorite baseball player, Jacque Jones. My second favorite was Matthew LeCroy. I honestly can’t understand why those two were my favorites. LeCroy would always pinch-hit and get a homer (or so it seemed to my younger self). And I don’t know why I obsessed over Jacque Jones – seriously, I dressed up in a Jones jersey for Halloween three years in a row, and I would have continued for a 4th and 5th year if my mom forced me to change it. So there’s a little of my Twins background from when I was about 7 years old. 5: Twins Daily I just wanted to say here that I really enjoy coming to Twins Daily every day. I love the topics and the comments and that like button! I thoroughly enjoy watching the baseball and watching all our predictions and thoughts get crushed and confirmed. And I especially enjoy when big news breaks in and everybody overreacts. I really enjoy being a part of this Twins community! So, on that note, stay classy, everyone.
  19. It took 6 innings before Cabrera was charged with an error at third base. I am very surprised it took that long. That vaunted Tiger’s offense has yet to score a run through their first 5 innings
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