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  1. Good afternoon Twins fans and welcome back to more Game Thread fun! Well the big news that most everyone has already heard is Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson will be leaving the organization after Thursday's game against Cleveland to be the new pitching coach at LSU. I can't believe he would leave in the middle of the season but I guess he has his reasons. I suspect he wants to get there sooner in order to recruit new players to LSU. I've read he will be making more money but I doubt that was the reason. I know its all speculation at this point but I bet the MLB schedule, being away from family played a role. He might just like the amateur ranks more than the pro ranks...I guess we will find out later if it even matters. I hate to see him go but "it is what it is"....Pete Maki is being promoted and will take the place of Wes on Friday. Good luck Pete! We need this staff sharp for October! The Twins kick off a big 4 game series against division rival Cleveland tonight. With a 2 game lead over Cleveland it would be nice to see the Twins have a 6 game lead after Thursday's final contest. Cleveland has been in a mini-slump since leaving Minnesota last week and have lost 4 games in a row. Taking the mound tonight for the Twins is Sonny Gray (3-1, 2.53 ERA). Sonny will be pitching against Cleveland righty Triston McKenzie (4-5, 3.51 ERA). After the news of Wes Johnson leaving the Twins it will be interesting to see how the pitching staff responds. I read that Wes was a huge influence on Sonny getting his confidence back this year. Apologies for posting the Game Thread so early but I need to leave for a fishing trip this afternoon. "Need to leave" is maybe a little dramatic but if I don't get out of the office for a little break I may pull a Wes Johnson and leave for good....Heading to the upper Mississippi River north of Deerwood, MN to hammer some small mouth bass and walleye. I will be listening to the game on the radio in the boat though! I tried to post the lineups but at 2:30 only Cleveland had theirs posted...If someone could post the Twins lineup for me I'll send some frozen walleye fillets to your house. Let's go Twins!!! Today's Lineups: TWINS (41-33): TBD CLEVELAND (36-32): 1. Steven Kwan, LF 2. Amed Rosario, SS 3. Jose Ramirez, 3B 4. Josh Naylor, 1B 5. Oscar Gonzalez, RF 6. Andres Gimenez, 2B 7. Owen Miller, DH 8. Luke Maile, C 9. Myles Straw, CF SP - Triston McKenzie, (RHP) Weather: Game time temperature 74 degrees and sunny. 0% chance of rain. Wind 12mph blowing L-R.
  2. Good evening Twins fans and welcome back to more Game Thread fun! Have you ever attended a MLB game and sat next to some over zealous fans? Did you sit next to fans that were knowledgable about the game and the teams that were playing? The Game Thread experience is all about that and more... As Twins fans this is our forum to debate and play arm chair quarterback. Don't be shy! Speak up and tell us your opinion about a specific play, umpire mistake or coaching move...Most of the Moderators on the site allow a little bit more leeway in what people say during the Game Thread. Please don't swear but remember, games that start this late a majority of Mods are asleep or 8 beers into the evening. Now for the game information: The Twins kick off a 3 game series against the NL West Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks are 11 games behind the NL West leader San Diego Padres. Arizona has a 30-35 record (.462 winning average). The Twins are 37-28 (.569 winning average) with a 2 game lead over Cleveland. The Twins starter tonight is lefty Devin Smeltzer (3-0, 2.38 ERA) going up against Arizona southpaw Madison Bumgarner (2-6, 3.50 ERA). The lineup looks good for the Twins tonight. I foresee a lot of runs for the good guys. Bumgarner has not been as sharp as he has looked in the past. Tune in and find out what happens. Grab a favorite beverage and cheer for the Minnesota Twins today! Don't forget to share your opinions and participate in the Game Thread fun tonight! The Moderators will be asleep...trust me! Tonight's lineups: Minnesota Twins: 1. Byron Buxton, DH 2. Carlos Correa, SS 3. Gio Urshela, 3B 4. Gary Sanchez, C 5. Luis Arraez, 2B 6. Jose Miranda, 1B 7. Max Kepler, RF 8. Gilberto Celestino, CF 9. Trevor Larnach, LF SP - Devin Smeltzer (LHP) Arizona Diamondbacks: 1. Carson Kelly, C 2. Josh Rojas, 3B 3. Jordan Luplow, LF 4. C. Walker, 1B 5. Daulton Varsho, RF 6. Buddy Kennedy, DH 7. Alek Thomas, CF 8. Jake Hager, 2B 9. Geraldo Perdomo, SS SP - Madison Bumgarner (LHP) Weather: Hot! Like really hot.....106 degrees. Zero chance of rain.
  3. Good afternoon Twins fans and welcome back to more Game Thread fun! Yesterday's game was fun to watch and almost got out of hand but in the end the Twins prevailed. As I posted on yesterdays game recap, Ryan and Duran are going to be exciting to watch. Unfortunately, Buxton had to leave early due to a right knee strain. According to the Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Buxton isn't believed to have suffered any structural damage but may be off for a week or so. Phil Miller of the Star Tribune reported that the Twins do not intend to make a roster move which hopefully means the injury is minor. What excitement will be in store for today's game? Not really sure but Sonny Gray takes the mound against Boston hurler Tanner Houck (0-0) 8.10 ERA. I suspect the Twins are going to light this kid up. I predict an early exit for Tanner as Sonny gives us hopefully 6 or more "Snapper Mow em' Down" innings. Speaking of lighting up, tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I plan on firing up the Big Green Egg to grill a leg of lamb. Throw in some cheesy potatoes, asparagus and garlic bread and I'll have the makings of a small feast. The price of the lamb was crazy by the way......my grocery bill looks like I'm feeding 50 people vs. 6 people. I hope you enjoy your Easter celebrations tomorrow! Let's smoke the Red Sox today! Today's lineups: TWINS: 1. Luis Arraez, DH 2. Jorge Polanco, 2B 3. C. Correa, SS 4. Max Kepler, RF 5. T. Larch, LF 6. Gio Urshela, 3B 7. Nick Gordon, CF 8. Miguel Sano, 1B 9. Ryan Jeffers, C SP - Sonny Gray, (R) 0-0, 3.86 ERA RED SOX: 1. E Hernandez, CF 2. R. Devers, 3B 3. X. Bogaerts, SS 4. J. Martinez, DH 5. Alex Verdugo, LF 6. Trevor Story, 2B 7. Bobby Dalbec, 1B 8. J. Bradley, RF 9. C. Vazquez, C SP - Tanner Houck, (R) 0-0, 8.10ERA Weather: Cloudy and 62 degrees with a 15mph wind blowing out
  4. When I dipped my toe into the new Twins season, I braced myself and winced. Like most people on Twins Daily, I'm excited for our hitting but unsure if we've got the pitching to be competitive. More than that, these old bones are sore from the 2021 season. Things looked swell last year at this time, and then the losses piled on and on. And on and on and on. Admitting you were a Twins fan got you a free bowl of soup and a friendly ear in Depression-era diners last year. "Times are tough," the cook would say. I made time to watch the first game at a chain restaurant that specializes in wings (even though no wings come close to achieving the greatness of Tooties on Lowry, home of the best wings on earth). I took my 5-year-old daughter and bought some quality baseball time by loaning her my cell phone so she could play her little game on it. The Twins tripped and fell right away in the game. They staggered and righted themselves a bit with an Urshela home run, then stumbled on the way to their final out. Game two and Buxton does a little talking with his bat. Twins take a lead and then blow it. I follow along on my phone, sliding back into the groove of ignoring friends and relatives to keep up on the game. The secret is lots of eye contact when you're paying attention to THEM, to make up for all the times you only have eyes for your phone. Game three is much better. Sanchez knocks in a grand slam and there are home runs everywhere, like they were participation trophies. I tried to listen to part of this on the radio, but my 5-year-old daughter caught me tuning in when I was supposed to be babysitting her dolls. I ended up having to sing David Bowie songs to them while the Twins hauled in their first victory. Game four? I'm fully immersed in the Twins season and loving it. There are good things happening for the Twins, and there's every reason to nurture a bit of hope. So why did I feel so blah? General contrariness? Always a possibility. Maybe it's because I read the news today, oh boy, and the real world has become A Bad Place. Baseball usually takes me away from all that - the longer, the better! Maybe it'll just take a little longer this year to fully escape into the game. There's no reason to worry about whether or not this team can warm your heart. This team is so loveable it could sour puppies and kitties by comparison. Buxton plays the game with gusto and he'll take you along for the ride. Polanco and Correa can turn frowns upside down with a swipe of their bats. Kirilloff is going to get there, people, and it'll be delightful. And this Duran guy? You gotta love what you see when he pitches. Also, he appears to be a very good hugger, based on my own observations. This is a team you can cheer for. This is a team that brings "fan favorites" and "baseball crushes" back to the ballpark. I, for one, am ready to let baseball dazzle me into a happy grin yet again. Bring on the summer of 2022, and bring on the next chapter of Twins history!
  5. Good morning Twins fans and welcome back to more Game Thread fun! It was so nice seeing the Twins play again yesterday! I hate that we lost but one game in the scheme of things doesn't really matter this time of year. However, I really believe we have a strong foundation and a group of players that will compete well this year. I'm still standing by my prediction that the Twins will win the AL Central this year. By the way, I love this time of year in Minnesota. We have the Masters on TV, the weather is warming, the ice is melting off the lakes, the grass is beginning to green, MLB is starting up and hope "springs" eternal for my favorite team the Minnesota Twins. It will be interesting to see how Sonny Gray stacks up today against this Mariner's offense. Hopefully his first start as a Minnesota Twin will result in a big W! How will the rest of the bullpen do? Will our offense start seeing the ball and make more contact? Will the dynamic duo of Buxton and Correa become the most dangerous one-two punch in MLB? Well, pull up a chair, crack a beer or your favorite beverage and tune in to find out. Today's game is gonna be a good one! Speaking of ice melting...Here are some fast facts on one of Minnesota's most celebrated lakes, Lake Minnetonka. Ice-out on Lake Minnetonka is declared when officials can boat through all channels and bays without being obstructed by ice. The earliest ice-out was March 11, 1878. The latest ice-out was May 5, 1857. The average ice-out date historically has been April 17th, 18th and 19th. The median ice-out date is April 14th (half of ice-outs are before that date and half are after that date). Coincidentally, for many years the latest ice-out date was attributed to May 8th, 1856. The Minnesota Climatology Working Group raised questions about the accuracy of that date based on temperature records showing that April 1856 was very warm. My guess is we will have ice-out on Lake Minnetonka April 15th this year. I can hardly wait to start Crappie fishing in a few weeks! Just like I can hardly wait to see this Minnesota Twins franchise win another World Series. Win Twins! Today's Lineups: MINNESOTA TWINS: 1. Byron Buxton, CF 2. Luis Arraez, 3B 3. C. Correa, SS 4. J. Polanco, 2B 5. Alex Kirilloff, DH 6. Miguel Sano, 1B 7. Max Kepler, RF 8. Ryan Jeffers, C 9. Nick Gordon, LF SP - Sonny Gray (R) SEATTLE MARINERS 1. Adam Frazier, 2B 2. Ty France, 1B 3. Jesse Winker, DH 4. M. Haniger, RF 5. Abraham Toro, 3B 6. J. Kelenic, LF 7. J. Rodriguez, CF 8. J. Crawford, SS 9. Tom Murphy, C SP - Logan Gilbert (R) Weather: Sunny and warming up to a balmy 50 degrees. Wind blowing out today at about 3mph.
  6. 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.
  7. Good evening Twins fans and welcome back to more Game Thread excitement! The Twins did a nice job in Houston and now kick off a 9 game home stand against the Chicago White Sox tonight. Hopefully they can keep up the momentum. Not that it really matters this year but I would like to see some of our younger players start getting into the groove and build some confidence heading into 2022. Speaking of confidence, I'd like to see the following players hit above .220 so I can have confidence we can actually score runs in 2022. I know batting average stats are no longer in vogue but let's look at some averages. The players: Kepler (.211), Rooker (.176), Garver (.220), Sano (.211), Simmons (.216), Cave (.186), Larnach (.229 on the bubble). Speaking of guys that seem to have confidence....they include the following: Polanco (.272), Arraez (.318). Unfortunately it's a short list. Enough complaining, Let's start this home stand strong and see some younger guys get more playing time just so they can build their confidence. Did you pick up on the confidence theme tonight? I have all the confidence in the world that big Miguel Sano will go yard tonight and maybe drive in 4-5 runs. Now that's confidence! I might be delusional too but who cares. Go Twins! Tonight's Lineups: TWINS: 1. Max Kepler, RF 2. B. Rooker, DH 3. Jorge Polanco, 2B 4. Luis Arraez, 3B 5. Miguel Sano, 1B 6. Jake Cave, CF 7. R. Jeffers, C 8. T. Larnach, LF 9. A. Simmons, SS P - Beau Burrows, 0-0 with a 11.00 ERA YIKES! WHITE SOX: 1. T. Anderson, SS 2. C. Hernandez, 2B 3. J. Abreu, 1B 4. E. Jimenez, DH 5. Y. Moncada, 3B 6. B. Goodwin, RF 7. L. Robert, CF 8. L. Garcia, LF 9. S. Zavala, C P - Lucas Giolito, 8-8 with a 3.98 ERA Weather: Hot and humid, 85 degrees
  8. Good Morning Twins fans and welcome back to more Game Thread banter and fun! We have moved past July and are now entering the hot month of August. The Twins ended July on a high note with a win last night. Hopefully they can start the month with a win this afternoon. Entering August 1st our team is dead last in the Central with a .419 winning percentage...Got to admit I didn't see that coming when we started in April. Oh well, we have each other to entertain us and a bunch of new young talent from the Rays and Blue Jays to watch. Speaking of game thread fun, it was suggested in last nights game thread I do a survey on what your favorite beverage is while watching the Twins play. I'll tell you I prefer a nice bourbon poured over one large ice cube during evening games. Afternoon games might be a cold beer or a Tito's and soda with a lime. I have to say my consumption during this putrid season has increased. Funny how that happens...By the way, does anyone want to trade me a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle for a home wrecker (1.75 liter of Windsor Canadian)? PM me if interested! What's your favorite beverage while watching the Twins play? Go ahead and post your beverage of choice below. Don't be shy! "You do you and we won't judge" (stole the Tito's slogan). Go Twins!! This afternoon's lineups: TWINS: 1. Max Kepler, CF 2. Brent Rooker, LF 3. Jorge Polanco, 2B 4. Luis Arraez, 3B 5. Mitch Garver, C 6. Miguel Sano, 1B 7. Trevor Larnach, RF 8. A. Simmons, SS 9. Michael Pineda, P CARDINALS: (expected lineup, not posted as of 11:30am) 1. D. Carlson, RF 2. P. Goldschmidt, 1B 3. N. Arenado, 3B 4. T. O'Neil, LF 5. Y. Molina, C 6. H. Bader, CF 7. Tommy Edman, 2B 8. Paul Dejong, SS 9. Adam Wainwright, P Today's weather: 80 degrees and partly cloudy.
  9. Good afternoon Twins fans and welcome back to more Game Thread fun and excitement! Can our Minnesota Twins win tonight in front of a full stadium? Local media in Minneapolis report that tonight's game is sold out and the stands will be full. Personally I'm glad I'm not going as it's hot as Hades here...game time temperatures will be almost 94 degrees with a heat index near 100. I think I prefer watching tonight's game in a dark bar with a few cold ones lined up. Happy July 5th by the way! It is the officially observed holiday at least according to my iPhone calendar. Hope most of you had the day off today. I had the day off and didn't do much. Getting ready to grill up some burgers and brats for dinner tonight and listen to the game on WCCO. I like listening to the game on the radio, it's so old school. In case you wanted to know, all my kids along with a few of their significant others are home tonight and they eat literally everything in the house. Four pounds of burger just doesn't seem to go as far as it did...It's time they all get real jobs and help their old man out with the groceries. Big game tonight! Can the Twins get past the White Sox? Not sure but that's why I'll listen to the game and find out. The lineup tonight is somewhat underwhelming...I'll let you decide. Gotta run now, college kids say we are low on beer. I'll throw them a $20 and tell them to buy a case of Hamms. I'll be drinking the good stuff. Go Twins! Tonight's lineups: TWINS: 1. Luis Arraez, 3B 2. T. Larnach, LF 3. Jorge Polanco, 2B 4. Alex Kirilloff, 1B 5. Max Kepler, RF 6. Miguel Sano, DH 7. Nick Gordon, CF 8. Ben Rortvedt, C 9. A. Simmons, SS P - Bailey Ober, R WHITE SOX: 1. Tim Anderson, SS 2. Yoan Moncado, 3B 3. Jose Abreu, 1B 4. B. Goodwin, CF 5. Y. Grandal, C 6. Gavin Sheets, DH 7. A. Vaughn, LF 8. Adam Eaton, RF 9. Leury Garcia, 2B P - Dylan Cease, R Weather: HOT! HUMID! SWEAT FACTORY!
  10. I’d like to discuss the way I see forward for the Minnesota Twins to become a team ready for a deep playoff run or World Series victory. The focus will be on top quality pitching. I’ll use a couple of case studies of teams that had very deep and strong pitching and great success, those teams being the 1980 Baltimore Orioles and the 1972-1974 Oakland A’s. Then I’ll take a look at how the Twins can get to that level. First, how did I get to this point of believing pitching is more important than I originally thought? Although, a Twins fan since 1964, the media and options for following the Twins on a more comprehensive level only opened up to me in the 1970s. I lived in Toledo, Ohio but had discovered the Twins at Tinker Field in Orlando when my Dad took me to a game vs. the Cincinnati Reds. The Twins won and the rest was history for me! In the 1960s it was linescores in the newspaper and the occasional game of the week with Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek. Then one glorious night in 1973, I thought to myself, "Wouldn’t it be great to be able to pick up Twins games on the radio." I had been twirling the station tuner knob that night pickng up any games I could. Seemingly miraculously, within 10-15 minutes I heard a new voice and paused to see what team(s) I had come across. Imagine my astonishment when I learned that it was the Twins broadcast from WHO in Des Moines, Iowa. I first heard the voice of Herb Carneal that night and stayed up late listening to Twins baseball as my recollection is that it was a doubleheader, possibly from the west coast. Herb became my constant companion for many years and my love for the Twins grew exponentially. I remember annually thnking the the Twins were going to win the AL West this season and the next and the next but it never happened. Why? I couldn’t figure it out as they had such fine hitters as Jim Holt, Steve Braun, Rod Carew, Bobby Darwin, Mike Cubbage, then Glenn Adams, Lyman Bostock and Larry Hisle. The 1977 team brought things into clear focus. The offense, while maybe not as deep as 2019, was at the upper echelon - arguably the greatest offense in Twins history. On June 26, 1977 I listened to and scored from my basement in Ohio, a 19-12 Twins win over the White Sox, listening to Harey Carey from 670 WMAQ in Chicago. Alas, the Twins had a mediocre to poor pitching staff in 1977. That to go along with possibly the best hitting team in Twins history and, in my opinion, the greatest manager in Twins history - the brilliant tactician and innovator, Gene Mauch. Suffice to say, from 1977 on, I realized that only a team with very strong pitching could hope to be in the playoffs (back them it was only AL East vs. West, then the World Series) or win the World Series. Let’s take a look at the 1977 Twins. (courtesy of baseball-reference.com) Pos Name Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ C Butch Wynegar# 21 144 617 532 76 139 22 3 10 79 2 3 68 61 .261 .344 .370 .715 96 1B Rod Carew* 31 155 694 616 128 239 38 16 14 100 23 13 69 55 .388 .449 .570 1.019 178 2B Bob Randall 29 103 342 306 36 73 13 2 0 22 1 4 15 25 .239 .289 .294 .583 61 SS Roy Smalley# 24 150 680 584 93 135 21 5 6 56 5 5 74 89 .231 .316 .315 .631 74 3B Mike Cubbage* 26 129 464 417 60 110 16 5 9 55 1 4 37 49 .264 .321 .391 .712 94 LF Larry Hisle 30 141 620 546 95 165 36 3 28 119 21 10 56 106 .302 .369 .533 .902 144 CF Lyman Bostock* 26 153 660 593 104 199 36 12 14 90 16 7 51 59 .336 .389 .508 .897 144 RF Dan Ford 25 144 510 453 66 121 25 7 11 60 6 4 41 79 .267 .338 .426 .764 108 DH Craig Kusick 28 115 325 268 34 68 12 0 12 45 3 1 49 60 .254 .370 .433 .803 120 Pos Name Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ DH Rich Chiles* 27 108 295 261 31 69 16 1 3 36 0 1 23 17 .264 .323 .368 .691 89 DH Glenn Adams* 29 95 290 269 32 91 17 0 6 49 0 2 18 30 .338 .376 .468 .844 130 3B Jerry Terrell 30 93 235 214 32 48 6 0 1 20 10 4 11 21 .224 .263 .266 .530 46 2B Rob Wilfong* 23 73 193 171 22 42 1 1 1 13 10 4 17 26 .246 .321 .281 .602 67 LF Bob Gorinski 25 54 126 118 14 23 4 1 3 22 1 0 5 29 .195 .226 .322 .548 48 CF Willie Norwood 26 39 91 83 15 19 3 0 3 9 6 1 6 17 .229 .281 .373 .654 78 IF Luis Gomez 25 32 74 65 6 16 4 2 0 11 0 2 4 9 .246 .290 .369 .659 80 C Glenn Borgmann 27 17 54 43 12 11 1 0 2 7 0 0 11 9 .256 .407 .419 .826 128 C Bud Bulling 24 15 39 32 2 5 1 0 0 5 0 0 5 5 .156 .270 .188 .458 29 3B Larry Wolfe 24 8 27 25 3 6 1 0 0 6 0 0 1 0 .240 .269 .280 .549 51 2B Sam Perlozzo 26 10 27 24 6 7 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 3 .292 .346 .458 .804 119 DH Randy Bass* 23 9 19 19 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 .105 .105 .105 .211 -42 Next the pitching staff that held the team to an 84-77 record. Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP Team Totals 27.1 84 77 4.36 161 161 126 35 4 25 1442.0 1546 776 698 151 507 737 91 4.21 1.424 Rank in 14 AL teams 7 8 12 11 9 10 8 12 12 12 10 7 12 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP SP Dave Goltz 28 20 11 3.36 39 39 0 19 2 0 303.0 284 129 113 23 91 186 119 3.42 1.238 SP Paul Thormodsgard 23 11 15 4.62 37 37 0 8 1 0 218.0 236 122 112 25 65 94 86 4.30 1.381 SP Geoff Zahn* 31 12 14 4.68 34 32 0 7 1 0 198.0 234 116 103 20 66 88 85 4.24 1.515 SP Pete Redfern 22 6 9 5.18 30 28 2 1 0 0 137.1 164 89 79 13 66 73 77 4.44 1.675 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP CL Tom Johnson 26 16 7 3.13 71 0 54 0 0 15 146.2 152 57 51 11 47 87 128 3.59 1.357 RP Ron Schueler 29 8 7 4.41 52 7 21 0 0 3 134.2 131 74 66 16 61 77 91 4.63 1.426 RP Tom Burgmeier* 33 6 4 5.09 61 0 20 0 0 7 97.1 113 56 55 15 33 35 79 5.10 1.500 RP Dave Johnson 28 2 5 4.58 30 6 16 0 0 0 72.2 86 42 37 7 23 33 88 4.24 1.500 RP Jeff Holly* 24 2 3 6.89 18 5 6 0 0 0 48.1 57 37 37 8 12 32 58 4.37 1.428 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP Gary Serum 20 0 0 4.37 8 0 2 0 0 0 22.2 22 11 11 4 10 14 93 5.39 1.412 Bill Butler* 30 0 1 6.86 6 4 0 0 0 0 21.0 19 17 16 5 15 5 59 7.64 1.619 Mike Pazik* 27 1 0 2.50 3 3 0 0 0 0 18.0 18 5 5 1 6 6 163 3.79 1.333 Don Carrithers 27 0 1 6.91 7 0 3 0 0 0 14.1 16 13 11 2 6 3 59 5.60 1.535 Jim Shellenback* 33 0 0 7.94 5 0 0 0 0 0 5.2 10 7 5 1 5 3 54 6.62 2.647 Jim Hughes 25 0 0 2.08 2 0 2 0 0 0 4.1 4 1 1 0 1 1 209 2.97 1.154 Notice that the starting rotation was basically one pitcher deep, their ace, Dave Goltz, he of the knuckle-curve. The staff ERA was 4.36, which is not so much a reflection of the quality of the starting staff but of the superior work of two relievers who ate up 281.1 innings. Tom Johnson was the one most responsible for holding down the team ERA with his 3.13 ERA, 16-7 record and 146.2 innings as the closer! Amazingly, after the Twins had lost Bill Campbell and his 17-5 record in relief in 1976 to free-agency, they were able to plug in Johnson. It’s pretty plain to see that the top 9 pitchers listed, excepting Goltz and Johnson, are what held back this team with a juggernaut offense from a possible division championship or even World Series victory. Just one quality starter. Two other major factors influenced my thinking on the value of deep, quality pitching. The first was the astonishing success of the 1972-1974 Oakland A’s, who may have won 5-7 World Series in a row except for the advent of free-agency. Charley Finley waved the white flag of surrender just as much as Calvin Griffith did and the Oakland dynasty was destroyed. Take a look at the pitching staff of a World Champion three years running. The names changed slightly but the prioritization on pitching is the teachable lesson! (courtesy of baseball-reference.com) Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP Team Totals 26.7 94 68 3.29 162 162 116 46 12 41 1457.1 1311 532 143 494 797 109 3.83 1.239 Rank in 12 AL teams 2 11 2 9 2 2 3 2 3 9 4 8 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP SP Ken Holtzman* 27 21 13 2.97 40 40 0 16 4 0 297.1 275 98 22 66 157 120 3.18 1.147 SP Vida Blue* 23 20 9 3.28 37 37 0 13 4 0 263.2 214 96 26 105 158 109 3.89 1.210 SP Catfish Hunter 27 21 5 3.34 36 36 0 11 3 0 256.1 222 95 39 69 124 107 4.40 1.135 SP Blue Moon Odom 28 5 12 4.49 30 24 4 3 0 0 150.1 153 75 14 67 83 79 4.05 1.463 SP Dave Hamilton* 25 6 4 4.39 16 11 1 1 0 0 69.2 74 34 8 24 34 81 4.16 1.407 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP CL Rollie Fingers 26 7 8 1.92 62 2 49 0 0 22 126.2 107 27 5 39 110 186 2.36 1.153 RP Darold Knowles* 31 6 8 3.09 52 5 26 1 1 9 99.0 87 34 7 49 46 116 4.13 1.374 RP Horacio Pina 28 6 3 2.76 47 0 24 0 0 8 88.0 58 27 8 34 41 129 4.25 1.045 RP Paul Lindblad* 31 1 5 3.69 36 3 11 0 0 2 78.0 89 32 8 28 33 97 4.25 1.500 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP Glenn Abbott 22 1 0 3.86 5 3 1 1 0 0 18.2 16 8 3 7 6 94 5.14 1.232 Rob Gardner* 28 0 0 4.91 3 0 0 0 0 0 7.1 10 4 2 4 2 77 7.20 1.909 Chuck Dobson 29 0 1 7.71 1 1 0 0 0 0 2.1 6 2 1 2 3 55 8.14 3.429 Second was playing table top baseball with a good friend who was an avid Orioles fan. We played my Twins team against his Orioles for many games, who while not having the offense of the Twins, kept running out a relentless rotation of Palmer, Flanagan, Dennis Martinez, Scott McGregor. I was defeated more often than not by this pitching staff and got used to being dominated. I was forever changed! This is the kind of staff I’d like to see the Twins aspire to! (courtesy of baseball-reference.com) Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP Team Totals 26.8 90 71 3.56 161 161 96 65 14 33 1429.0 1340 566 107 509 754 99 3.60 1.294 Rank in 14 AL teams 5 10 5 1 2 2 11 2 4 4 7 5 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP SP Jim Palmer 32 21 12 2.46 38 38 0 19 6 0 296.0 246 81 19 97 138 143 3.48 1.159 SP Mike Flanagan* 26 19 15 4.03 40 40 0 17 2 0 281.1 271 126 22 87 167 87 3.37 1.273 SP Dennis Martinez 24 16 11 3.52 40 38 0 15 2 0 276.1 257 108 20 93 142 100 3.54 1.267 SP Scott McGregor* 24 15 13 3.32 35 32 2 13 4 1 233.0 217 86 19 47 94 106 3.46 1.133 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP CL Don Stanhouse 27 6 9 2.89 56 0 47 0 0 24 74.2 60 24 0 52 42 122 3.55 1.500 RP Joe Kerrigan 24 3 1 4.77 26 2 16 0 0 3 71.2 75 38 10 36 41 74 4.85 1.549 RP Tippy Martinez* 28 3 3 4.83 42 0 16 0 0 5 69.0 77 37 4 40 57 73 3.47 1.696 RP Nelson Briles 34 4 4 4.64 16 8 4 1 0 0 54.1 58 28 6 21 30 76 4.19 1.454 RP John Flinn 23 1 1 8.04 13 0 5 0 0 0 15.2 24 14 3 13 8 45 6.54 2.362 Pos Name Age W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP Tim Stoddard 25 0 1 6.00 8 0 3 0 0 0 18.0 22 12 3 8 14 60 4.86 1.667 Dave Ford 21 1 0 0.00 2 1 1 0 0 0 15.0 10 0 0 2 5 2.32 0.800 Sammy Stewart 23 1 1 3.18 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.1 10 4 0 3 11 115 1.44 1.147 Earl Stephenson* 30 0 0 2.79 2 0 2 0 0 0 9.2 10 3 0 5 4 131 3.31 1.552 Elrod Hendricks 37 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.1 1 0 0 1 0 3.87 0.857 Larry Harlow* 26 0 0 67.50 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 2 5 1 4 1 9 37.09 9.000 Now, let’s compare this year’s Twins staff to, first the 1977 Twins, and then secondly to the 1973 A’s and the 1978 Orioles. (courtesy of baseball-reference.com) Pos Name Age W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP Team Totals 30.4 29 41 .414 4.94 70 70 70 0 0 17 610.1 619 335 104 209 574 84 4.67 1.357 Rank in 15 AL teams 12 4 14 8 9 8 11 13 13 14 5 13 Pos Name Age W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP SP Jose Berrios 27 7 2 .778 3.56 14 14 0 0 0 0 83.1 70 33 10 21 87 115 3.58 1.092 SP J.A. Happ* 38 3 3 .500 6.12 12 12 0 0 0 0 60.1 69 41 11 18 44 67 5.13 1.442 SP Michael Pineda (10-day IL) 32 3 4 .429 3.70 11 11 0 0 0 0 56.0 49 23 10 15 51 111 4.48 1.143 SP Matt Shoemaker 34 2 8 .200 7.57 13 11 2 0 0 0 54.2 66 46 12 23 37 54 6.04 1.628 SP Kenta Maeda 33 2 2 .500 5.01 10 10 0 0 0 0 46.2 55 26 9 14 46 82 4.80 1.479 Pos Name Age W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP CL Taylor Rogers* 30 2 3 .400 2.73 28 0 11 0 0 7 29.2 26 9 3 5 41 152 2.23 1.045 RP Hansel Robles 30 3 3 .500 2.84 32 0 9 0 0 5 31.2 21 10 2 19 33 145 3.80 1.263 RP Jorge Alcala 25 1 1 .500 3.49 29 0 11 0 0 0 28.1 16 11 7 7 24 118 5.54 0.812 RP Tyler Duffey 30 0 2 .000 4.15 28 0 2 0 0 2 26.0 23 12 2 13 24 100 3.94 1.385 RP Alex Colome 32 2 4 .333 5.40 27 0 10 0 0 2 25.0 28 15 5 12 26 77 5.49 1.600 Pos Name Age W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP Randy Dobnak 26 1 6 .143 7.83 13 5 3 0 0 1 43.2 60 38 11 12 25 53 6.19 1.649 Caleb Thielbar* 34 2 0 1.000 4.13 22 0 4 0 0 0 24.0 26 11 3 7 36 101 2.80 1.375 Bailey Ober 25 0 0 3.71 4 4 0 0 0 0 17.0 18 7 3 2 21 113 3.52 1.176 Cody Stashak (10-day IL) 27 0 0 6.89 15 0 1 0 0 0 15.2 16 12 2 10 26 61 3.62 1.660 Lewis Thorpe* (7-day IL) 25 0 2 .000 3.86 4 3 1 0 0 0 14.0 13 6 1 4 5 109 4.24 1.214 Luke Farrell 30 1 0 1.000 2.08 11 0 3 0 0 0 13.0 11 3 1 5 14 202 3.17 1.231 Shaun Anderson 26 0 0 9.35 4 0 0 0 0 0 8.2 13 9 1 5 8 46 4.90 2.077 Griffin Jax (40-man) 26 0 0 8.64 3 0 2 0 0 0 8.1 11 8 4 3 9 49 8.33 1.680 Derek Law 30 0 0 8.53 5 0 3 0 0 0 6.1 11 6 2 6 9 51 7.28 2.684 Juan Minaya 30 0 0 4.26 4 0 2 0 0 0 6.1 5 3 2 3 4 102 7.91 1.263 Devin Smeltzer* (10-day IL) 25 0 0 0.00 1 0 1 0 0 0 4.2 1 0 0 1 3 3.81 0.429 Brandon Waddell* 27 0 1 .000 11.25 4 0 2 0 0 0 4.0 10 5 2 3 1 40 11.42 3.250 Willians Astudillo (40-man) 29 0 0 3.00 3 0 3 0 0 0 3.0 1 1 1 1 0 153 8.51 0.667 Statistically, this is the worst pitching staff we’ve looked at. This rotation is basically a two man rotation out of 5 where the 1977 Twins were basically one. Staffs like the 1977 and 2021 Twins will never lead to a high quality team featuring one and two viable starters type rotations. Obvious, right? My argument would be that Falvey and Levine should be trying to get that to 4 or 5 quality starters and not put resources to players like J.A. Happ, Matt Shoemaker, Alex Colome or even Josh Donaldson. Donaldson has good qualities but one thing he isn’t is a quality pitcher. What’s the way forward? I think, based on his 3.70 ERA so far and the virtual impossibility of signing 3 FA quality starters, that they need to re-sign Michael Pineda. They also need to re-sign Jose Berrios. That’s only 2 of 5 quality starters. We have to hope that Maeda rounds back into form. Further the FO is going to have to sign a quality free agent pitcher. Then we have to hope that Bailey Ober builds on what he as started so far. And hope that Barnes, Duran or Balazovic make a breakthrough. There are other good arms. I’ve pictured below the kinds of pitchers we need in at least 3 or 4 spots. It would be nice to have Christy Mathewson as a Twin but, alas, that’s not possible. He’s my favorite pitcher of all time. Let me know what you think. My motto is pitching, pitching and more pitching!!!
  11. I know my writing is about as consistent as the Twins pitching, but that doesn’t mean that I am not watching. Watching and learning and understanding that baseball, as emotional as we get about it, is a business, and in a business you want to be the best that you can with the assets that you have. That’s why when you are hired at a job, if you are not doing the duties hired for, or continue to curtail off of them and get lazy, you will get fired, or in baseball’s instance, traded. The past few weeks we have seen a few changes, more hits, better defense, and a few more wins. Now, some of those wins are coming from other teams that are at our “level” (aka: a bad record), but as my husband says, “a win is a win”. He’s right, “A win is a win”, so let’s take a look at what has changed lately. If you don’t know, I will just tell you: injuries. Yes, you read that right, injuries are what are helping us. The Twins, in typical fashion have had a load of injuries that continue to plague us as we go throughout the season. I know that this is nothing new for any team, it’s the point of the IL, right? But let’s look at what that means for our Twins. Buxton, Donaldson, Simmons, Kepler, and now Jake Cave’s injuries are allowing for minor leaguers to come up to the show and give it a shot and take that shot they have. New guys joining our team on a consistent basis the past three weeks have been making dives on line drives and fly balls and getting homeruns like they were born to be on the Bomba Squad. Larnach has been one of those bright spots in our line up and in the left field. In the past three games, he has hit two homeruns and had four runs. One of those being his major league first HR on May 20th, and the flood gates of awesome opened up. Larnach continues to show us why he continues to stay on the active 26. Refsnyder is the diamond in the rough. The 30 year old has come out swinging, literally. Since May 15th, the former Texas Ranger has seen 33 at bats, which has led to 8 runs, 7 RBI’s and 2 homeruns. Definitely a great acquisition and has given the line up new life. I usually cringe when I see a player being traded and they are creeping into their 30’s, but there are a few, such as Refsnyder who continue to surprise teams and when they find their stride, watch out… Kiriloff, who has been with the 26 man since the middle of April, is great at first base and is a solid hitter. Kiriloff is young and has some room to grow, but he continues to improve each time he comes up, a solid hitter in dire situations, the 23 year old has four homeruns (two coming in one game against the Kansas City Royals) and only two walks in his 63 at bats this season. His RBI’s are what make him a great addition to the line up, he has ushered in fifteen RBI’s since April! If the Twins pitching could quit taking us into extra innings, imagine how 15 RBI’s could make a difference in our overall record. Baseball is a business. Baseball for us fans, means winning records, longevity into the playoffs, and hopefully a World Series win...or at least a chance. Emotionally, we love certain players, we all have our reasons, but at the end of the day, the owners, the fans and the coaches have an investment in these players and deserve a return on their investment. These three men have proven to be a huge improvement in our line up and in our defense, so maybe it’s time to make some permanent changes, ones that all of us would hate to see, but, we may need if we truly want to have a winning team.
  12. Good afternoon and welcome back to more game thread fun!! The Twin's seem to be heating up...can they make it 3 in a row? It was nice to see the Twins rally last night. Hopefully they can build off the momentum of last night and pull themselves out of the cellar. Berrios is throwing tonight too. Could be a good game! Finally got moved into our new place last week but still surrounded by boxes and lots of stuff .left to unpack. Will listen to the game on the radio as our internet and TV's still aren't operating at their capacity. I decided to cut the cable cord as well. I doubt anyone on here cares but thought I would let you in on that anyway. I'm now a cord cutter! OK - I have to go back to unpacking boxes. Here's tonights lineups: Go Twins!! TWINS: 1. Max Kepler DH 2. Josh Donaldson 3B 3. Alex Kirilloff RF 4. Miguel Sano 1B 5. Jorge Polanco 2B 6. Mitch Garver C 7. T. Larnach LF 8. R. Refsnyder CF 9. A. Simmons SS P - Jose Berrios 4-2 (3.91 ERA) BALTIMORE: 1. C Mullins CF 2. F. Galvis 3. Trey Mancini 1B 4. A. Santander RF 5. DJ Stewart DH 6. M. Franco 3B 7. R. Mountcastle LF 8. S. Wilkerson 2B 9. P. Severino C P - Dean Kremer (R) 0-4 (6.35 ERA)
  13. Good Morning Twins fans and welcome back to another game thread extravaganza! Happy May Day too! Last night we took home a great 9-1 victory over the Royals. We also got a glimpse of Alex Kirilloff's talent. Between Kirilloff's two homers and Buxton's defensive greatness I actually got excited about this teams potential over the next month or so. I think we'll climb our way back up in the standings in no time (assuming the bullpen can pick it up). Speaking of May Day, My daughter turns 21 today. I'm not sure how 21 years can go by so quickly but they do! If she wasn't away at college I'd take her to my favorite watering hole and buy a few rounds of beer and watch the Twins beat up on KC...Happy Birthday Sarah! OK, back to today's game. I'm liking the lineup. Interesting batting order but I sure would not enjoy pitching to our first 3 hitters and our #9 hitter. Nasty. Let's GO Twins! Lineups: TWINS: 1. Byron Buxton, CF 2. Josh Donaldson, 3B 3. Nelson Cruz, DH 4. Jorge Polanco, 2B 5. Kyle Garlick, RF 6. Mitch Garver, C 7. Alex Kirilloff, 1B 8. A. Simmons, SS 9. Luis Arraez, LF P - Matt Shoemaker ® ROYALS: 1. W. Merrifield, 2B 2. Carlos Santana, 1B 3. Salvador Perez, C 4. Jorge Soler, RF 5. Ryan O'Hearn, DH 6. Hunter Dozier, 3B 7. A. Benintendi, LF 8. M. Taylor, CF 9. Nicky Lopez, SS P - Danny Duffy (L) Weather: Beautiful spring day in Minnesota. 80 degrees and sunny. No rain expected.
  14. Buxton is listed only on the MLB HR leaders list. Not on OPS or AVG or SLG or OBP. He should be the leader in several of these. He has as many bats (19) as Naquin. Why isn't he listed?
  15. Welcome back to the Twins Daily game thread party! After a rare Friday night off the Minnesota Twins will take on the Seattle Mariners this afternoon at Target Field for the second home game of the season. I have high hopes for the Twins today. Big Mike Pineda will be throwing the ball and our lineup looks decent. I still wish Donaldson was playing today, although I think he will be back in the lineup next week. I'll be listening to the game today and trying to post some as I pack up our basement. After 16 years in the same house my wife and I decided to sell our home as the kids have all moved out. Do you realize how much crap we accumulated over the years? I've made about 30 runs to Goodwill and probably have another 10 to do. The good news, we sold our house in one day. The bad news, purging and packing the stuff we've collected for the last 16 years. Word to the wise. Get rid of all that extra crap you have in your house now, before you decide to sell it. It's actually quite liberating to throw stuff out and purge closets and attics. It's almost like mental weight loss! A funny thought just crossed my mind...I think it's "moving day" at the Masters today as well. Go Twins! I want to win by 10 runs! Today's Lineups: Twins: 1. Jorge Polanco - 2B 2. Kyle Garlick - LF 3. Nelson Cruz - DH 4. Byron Buxton - CF 5. Mitch Garver - C 6. Max Kepler - RF 7. Miguel Sano - 1B 8. A. Simmons - SS 9. Luis Arraez - 3B SP - Big Mike Pineda (RHP) Seattle: 1. Mitch Haniger - RF 2. Ty France - DH 3. Kyle Seager - 3B 4. J. Marmolejos - 1B 5. Luis Torrens - C 6. Dylan Moore - 2B 7. T. Trammell - CF 8. Sam Haggerty - LF 9. J.P. Crawford - SS SP - Yusei Kikuchi (LHP) Today's weather: Partly sunny and 50 degrees. 2% chance of rain. 100% chance my wife will make me pack during the entire game.
  16. 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.
  17. To all the Twins fans around the world, welcome to another Game Thread extravaganza! This is probably the best area on Twins Daily to experience our members' unique wit and wisdom around baseball and the Minnesota Twins. The banter on Game Threads are quick and always snappy. Settle in for a great game, some bad jokes and a fun time....and please don't be afraid to participate. I know this is obvious but a win today for the Twins means a sweep against the Indians. It's great to see this team starting to get their offense going. It couldn't be happening at a better time...Look out White Sox! We're coming for you...4 games starting tomorrow. My crystal ball sees the Twins running away with the division after we win today and sweep the White Sox this week. I think the Twins win the division by 4 games. Not that it really matters, we will be in the playoffs anyway. I'm more concerned about everyone being healthy for the playoff run (that means you Kepler, Garver, Arraez, etc.). Pineda is gonna have a big day and my pick to click is Mr. Sano. Oh, almost forgot to pass along a non-baseball related public service announcement. I made a meatloaf last night and cooked it on the grill over a cedar wood plank. Turned out great! If you've never cooked meatloaf on the grill give it a try. You'll be in for a real treat! Go Twins! Todays Starting Lineups: Twins: 1. Max Kepler (RF) 2. Josh Donaldson (3B) 3. Jorge Polanco (SS) 4. Nelson Cruz (DH) 5. Eddie Rosario (LF) 6. Miguel Sano (1B) 7. L. Wade (CF) 8. M. Gonzalez (2B) 9. Ryan Jeffers © SP - Michael Pineda 1-0 (2.77 ERA) RHP Cleveland: 1. F. Lindor (SS) 2. C. Hernandez (2B) 3. J. Ramirez (3B) 4. C. Santana (1B) 5. F. Reyes (DH) 6. T. Naquin (RF) 7. J. Naylor (LF) 8. S. Leon © 9. O. Mercado (CF) SP - Triston McKenzie 2-0, (2.57 ERA) RHP Game Time Weather: 73 degrees and partly cloudy, winds light and variable. 0% chance of rain.
  18. The Twins head to St. Louis for a doubleheader against the Cardinals. St Louis will be hungry after winning a series in Chicago against the Cubs, seeking revenge from earlier in the season against the Twins. It has become evident that the Cardinals are one of the tougher teams coming out of the NL Central. Having home-field advantage against the Twins is critical, Ballpark Village is no joke. The pitching match-ups are interesting, as Carlos Martinez squares off against Jose Berrios, and Daniel Ponce de Leon looks to prove himself against the once Uber driver, Randy Dobnak. Dobnak holds a 6-2 record this season, defying the odds as a pitcher in the MLB. In conclusion, this is another critical series for the Twins, it is unfortunate St. Louis is not throwing Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, or Kwang-hyun Kim. However, with home field advantage, and a hot lineup led by veteran Yadier Molina, no one is safe against this St. Louis Cardinals team. The Cardinals should split this series, but I do not think that will happen. It is time to separate the boys from the men, the Bomba Squad comes alive tomorrow. Twins take both.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Good evening and welcome back to the Twins Daily Game Thread party! Happy September 1st too. Only 30 days left of the regular season. If I'm gonna level straight with my gentle readers today, I am tired of this losing streak. To be honest, (because what I usually write on here are fabrications and lies) I'm a little angry and frustrated too. The losing streak ends tonight! Trust me! My win percentage when I do game thread introductions has got to be over .750. Everybody just relax, I am going to will us a win tonight. If these players can't get it done tonight I will do it for us. By the way, I also have some help tonight from a big Mr. Pineda and Mr. Buxton. I'm expecting good things from them tonight! Welcome back Pineda and Buxton!! Can someone from the training staff PLEASE roll out Donaldson's calves and get him back to the show soon? Frustrations aside, the Twins really do need to get their heads into the game and finish strong over the next 30 days. We need momentum heading into the playoffs. It starts tonight! My pick to click tonight: Byron Buxton Go Twins! Starting Lineups: TWINS: 1. Miguel Sano (1B) 2. Jorge Polanco (SS) 3. Nelson Cruz (DH) 4. M. Gonzalez (RF) 5. Eddie Rosario (LF) 6. Ehire Adrianza (3B) 7. Byron Buxton (CF) 8. I. Vargas (2B) 9. R. Jeffers © SP - Big Mike Pineda (0-0, 0.00 ERA) WHITE SOX: 1. T. Anderson (SS) 2. Y. Grandal © 3. J. Abreu (1B) 4. E. Encarnacion (DH) 5. E. Jimenez (LF) 6. L. Robert (CF) 7. N. Mazara (RF) 8. Y. Sanchez (3B) 9. N. Madrigal (2B) SP - Dallas Keuchel (5-2, 2.70 ERA) Weather: Partly Cloudy, 70 degrees
  25. Good afternoon and welcome to more Twins Daily Game Thread action! I had a whole different introduction planned for tonight but guess what? My plans changed. They changed for the better...my vendor came in from out of town and invited me to play golf today. Teeing off in 1 hour! Can't say I play golf very well but I like the free drinks that will come with it today! It's 90+ degrees in Minneapolis today so I'll probably drop a few pounds too. Seems like a win, win proposition to me. Now a win, win, win proposition would be the Twins putting (no golf pun intended) a thumping on the Indians tonight. Tonights Lineups: Twins: 1. Max Kepler (RF) 2. Jorge Polanco (SS) 3. Nelson Cruz (DH) 4. Eddie Rosario (LF) 5. M. Gonzalez (3B) 6.Luis Arraez (2B) 7. Miguel Sano (1B) 8. Lamonte Wade (CF) 9. Alex Avila © SP Jose Berrios Indians: 1. C. Hernandez (2B) 2. Jose Ramirez (3B) 3. F. Lindor (SS) 4. C. Santana (1B) 5. F. Reyes (DH) 6. Tyler Naquin (RF) 7. Greg Allen (LF) 8. R. Perez © 9. D. DeShields (CF) SP Mike Clevinger
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