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Game 61: Minnesota Twins @ Oakland Athletics

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First Pitch: 9:05pm CDT
TV: FS-N
Radio: Twins Radio NetworkKnow Thine Enemy: Athletics Nation

Starting Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Dallas Braden 5-5 12 12 0 0 0 0 74.0 80 30 28 6 20 50 3.41 1.35

Braden's a 25-year old southpaw in his third year with the Athletics. His first two major league campaigns saw him switching between the rotation and the bullpen, but having been excusively a starter this year has already set his own career high for innings pitched. His fastball only hits the upper-80's, but with a cut fastball, a pair of breaking balls and a changeup, there's more than enough in his arsenal to keep his opponents off balance. Braden will pump the zone with strikes to induce contact; the capabilities are there to strike hitters out (10.1 K/9 in the minors), but it hasn't been quite as easy in the majors. One of Braden's biggest strengths has been keeping the ball from leaving the yard. With fly-ball tendencies he still manages to keep his HR:FB ratio on the better side of average, and this year only 5.6% of those flies have gone over the fence.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Francisco Liriano 2-7 12 12 0 0 0 0 64.2 70 45 44 10 32 55 6.12 1.58

Making his first good start in three weeks on June 5, Liriano succeeded where he'd failed in between: when he needed to make a pitch, and when he needed an out, he got it. What's gotten Cisco in trouble this season has been base runners and how he manages his talents when they're on the paths, so if he wants to cut through the Oakland offense he'll need the exact same recipe for success. The A's will get men on base, and it will be in those moments you'll want to pay attention: how will Liriano deal? The strikeout can always bail him out, but he can't be afraid of contact. And if he's a little lucky, tonight the Twins will score a few runs off of a soft-tossing left-hander to back him up.

TWINS (29-31)

1. Carlos Gomez, CF
2. Brendan Harris, SS
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Joe Crede, 3B
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Mike Redmond, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B

ATHLETICS (26-31)

1. Orlando Cabrera, SS
2. Adam Kennedy, 2B
3. Jack Cust, DH
4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Kurt Suzuki, C
6. Bobby Crosby, 1B
7. Aaron Cunningham, RF
8. Rajai Davis, CF
9. Jack Hannahan, 3B