First Pitch: 12:35pm CDT
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Camden Chat
It didn't take long for the pessimism to set in after the first two lackluster performances of the year, but perspective isn't always a tangible concept. Just because the defense believes in the philosophy of the Tampa 2, that doesn't mean it works. C'est la vie. Let's try to salvage one in this first series before the boys swing to Minneapolis for the opening series at Target Field.
Hammel had a pretty good spring, striking out 17 in 17 innings while allowing just six runs. His Major League track record is, quite naturally, not as impressive. It's also worth noting that I had absolutely no idea he'd spent the last three years in Colorado. While with the Rockies he allowed about 1.4 base runners per inning, so if the Twins felt like putting up some offense, today would be a good day to do it.
It turns out that Liam Hendriks was admitted to the hospital yesterday morning with food poisoning. It seems the baseball gods haven't stopped frowning on the Twins quite yet, but we hope Hendriks feels better soon. In the meantime, swingham Swarzak will step in and do what he always does: compete and try to keep his team in the game. He's a bit more of a ground ball pitcher than Hammels, and just like Pavano he needs to get the Orioles to swing at his pitches. Pavano didn't do badly at this task on Friday, so if Swarzak repeats that four-run, seven-inning performance I'd be happy. The Twins just need to back him up at the dish.
Lineups after the jump.
The Twins preview their getaway day lineup, with the good news being that Mauer and Morneau continue to be in the lineup. Parmelee gets a rest though, we get to see how Doumit calls a game, Burroughs makes his first start of the season along with Hughes, and Revere makes his second consecutive start in right. Maybe he's not the fourth outfielder after all. Or: perhaps Gardenhire understands it's better to have range in the outfield with a fly ball pitcher on the mound. That's a warm thought. Let's go with that one.