GameThread: Twins at Padres, Game 44

Phil Hughes is happy to be pitching in Petco Park tonight. - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins are shooting for a two game sweep and have a good shot with their best pitcher taking the mound tonight.

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First Pitch: 8:05 pm CST
Radio: 96.3 KTWIN, TIBN
Know Thine Enemy: Gaslamp Ball

Chalk Kurt Suzuki hitting an inside-the-park home run as one of the things I didn't expect to see this year. Too bad I already went to bed last night before it happened. Anyway, note that tonight's game is an hour earlier, so if you're like me, you'll have intentions of actually catching the entire game tonight, provided it finishes around 11 pm.

The Twins send Phil Hughes to the mound, who has easily been their best pitcher to date. He has ceased to walk anyone this year, which when matched with his solid strikeout rate and the simple fact that he's not pitching in Yankee Stadium anymore has resulted in a much better pitcher than I think anyone could have imagined. Pitching in Petco Park should only help his flyball ways tonight, so I'm willing to predict that the Padres won't score much off of him tonight.

Opposing him is Tyson Ross, who you may remember from his time with the A's from a few years ago. Back then he was merely a middling pitcher, but since joining the Padres last year, he has become a solid pitcher too. He gets a ton of grounders and strikeouts, a winning combination if you're a pitcher. He has a funky short-arm delivery that makes my elbow and shoulder hurt from just watching him, and I'm sure it makes it hard to pick up the ball when it's thrown. The Twins will need to lay off his slider, which FanGraphs rates as one of the best in the major leagues.

  1. Brian Dozier, 2B
  2. Joe Mauer, 1B
  3. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
  4. Chris Parmelee, RF
  5. Kurt Suzuki, C
  6. Jason Kubel, LF
  7. Danny Santana, SS
  8. Aaron Hicks, CF
  9. Phil Hughes, P
  1. Everth Cabrera, SS
  2. Seth Smith, LF
  3. Chase Headley, 3B
  4. Yonder Alonso, 1B
  5. Jedd Gyorko, 2B
  6. Will Venable, RF
  7. Cameron Maybin, CF
  8. Rene Rivera, C
  9. Tyson Ross, P

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