Game Time: 12:10 pm CDT
TV: DirecTV 723, not sure about FSN, etc.
Radio: Twins Radio Network, XM179
This afternoon, the Twins (2-1) face the Mariners (1-2) in the final game of a four game series at the Dome. With a win, Minnesota has a chance for a promising start to the season. A loss and 2-2 split would have to be at least a minor disappointment out of the gate against a 101-loss team from last year.
Lineup will be posted when it's available. Other tidbits and statistical oddities follow after the jump.
04/09/09 1:10 PM EDT
|Seattle Mariners||Minnesota Twins|
|Endy Chavez - LF||Denard Span - LF|
|Franklin Gutierrez - CF||Alexi Casilla - 2B|
|Mike Sweeney - 1B||Michael Cuddyer - RF|
|Adrian Beltre - DH||Justin Morneau - 1B|
|Jose Lopez - 2B||Joe Crede - 3B|
|Wladimir Balentien - RF||Delmon Young - DH|
|Rob Johnson - C||Carlos Gomez - CF|
|Ronny Cedeno - 3B||Mike Redmond - C|
|Yuniesky Betancourt - SS||Brendan Harris - SS|
Today marks the first afternoon getaway game of the year. Why is this important? Overall, the Twins were 53-28 at home in 2008. However, in afternoon getaway games during the week, the record was a more pedestrian 7-6. Perhaps this is due to the small sample size (13 games), but considering a number of the lineups trotted out for these games (Mike Redmond batting #3, etc.) it's not surprising to see an impact due to resting the big guns.
A pair of lefties are expected on the mound. For Seattle, Jarrod Washburn takes the hill. 2008 was not kind to Jarrod, as he posted a 5-14 record, 4.69 ERA / 4.72 FIP, 1.46 WHIP, 87/50 SO/BB in 153.2 innings. He actually pitched better on the road (4.32 FIP versus 5.15 at home), surprising considering Safeco Field. Washburn loves facing the Twins, his career FIP is 3.16 vs. Minnesota (97 IP) and 2.75 in the Dome (51 IP), well under his 11-year career 4.60 FIP.
Glen Perkins makes his 2009 debut for the Twins. On the surface, his 2008 season looks like a resounding success, 12-4 record, 4.41 ERA. However, his underlying peripherals (5.14 FIP, 74/39 SO/BB in 151.0 IP, 1.49 HR/9) indicate that improvement may be needed to repeat his record and ERA in 2009. Perkins also ran out of gas last September (7.70 FIP over 5 starts), so we'll have to see how he pitches with a fresh arm. Perkins also could be helped in 2009 by seeing more of Denard Span in LF to track down fly balls from RH batters. We'll see how long and how often Gardy plays Span in left.
I'll be interested to see who sits today. Joe Crede is off to a cold start (2 for 12, 5 SO), so he may sit in favor of Brendan Harris against the LHP. Delmon Young may also play DH, giving Jason Kubel or Span a day off.