Pregame (12 games remaining)
While Kevin Slowey's start last night was far from bad, the two homers he allowed did more than enough damage to take out the Twins. In an attempt to rebound against a getting-better-but-still-inferior Cleveland squad, the Twins turn to Francisco Liriano. Liriano is still getting better, and he keeps getting great results. He's now thrown over 1000 pitches in 2008, with fewer signs of trouble as time goes along. Tonight, the Twins need him to continue to locate his fastball, and to stay on his gameplan. Even though he's shown the ability to work himself out of jams in recent starts, he'll be much more efficient if he can pitch the way he wants. He still has a tendency to get into innings with large pitch counts, and that's exactly what this team doesn't want right now.
The home team is sending out Zach Jackson, a 25-year old lefty. Jackson throws a fastball around 90, as well as a slider, cutter, changeup and an occasional curve. In 2004 he was a first-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, making his debut in their farm system at 21. By the following season the Jays had rapidly promoted him to triple-A, where he posted a 5.13 ERA in 47 innings; he wasn't very impressive in general. After being dealt to Milwaukee with Gabe Gross and Dave Bush for Lyle Overbay (and don't forget Ty Taubenheim!) in December of '05, he made his MLB with the Brewers that following summer. A couple of months ago he became a throw-in piece in the trade that sent C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers, and after the Indians dealt another starter (Paul Byrd), they recalled Jackson, who made his Indians debut on August 14th. In his six starts with Cleveland this season he's 0-3 in 36.1 innings and a 5.70 ERA, with 46 hits, 20 strikeouts and five walks.
|2008 - Francisco Liriano||5-3||11||11||0||0||0||0||62.0||52||25||22||4||25||51||3.19||1.24|
|2008 - Zach Jackson||0-3||6||6||0||0||0||0||36.1||46||25||23||4||5||20||5.70||1.40|
09/16/08 7:05 PM EDT
|Minnesota Twins||Cleveland Indians|
|Denard Span - RF||Grady Sizemore - CF|
|Matt Tolbert - 2B||Franklin Gutierrez - RF|
|Joe Mauer - C||Ben Francisco - LF|
|Justin Morneau - 1B||Jhonny Peralta - SS|
|Michael Cuddyer - DH||Victor Martinez - C|
|Delmon Young - LF||Kelly Shoppach - DH|
|Brian Buscher - 3B||Ryan Garko - 1B|
|Nick Punto - SS||Andy Marte - 3B|
|Carlos Gomez - CF||Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B|