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Game 77: Minnesota Twins @ St. Louis Cardinals

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First Pitch: 1:15pm CDT
TV: WFTC29
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Viva El Birdos

Starting Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Joel Pineiro 6-8 14 14 2 2 0 0 92.2 97 42 35 2 12 40 3.40 1.18

Ever wondered how guys who can't strike anyone out last? Pineiro is the perfect example. Even with the lowest strikeout rates of his career he's having his best season since 2002 or 2003...and that's being optimistic for 2002 and 2003. Joel is mopping up the competition in ways he's never done before. How? Career-best walk rates (1.17 BB/9), no home runs (just two all season), and an astounding ground-ball rate (61.3%). That upper-80's fastball gets thrown almost 70% of the time, but nobody is catching up to it in any meaningful way. Pineiro pumps in strikes and thrives off contact, and when you can't even work a walk off the guy how are you supposed to score? The offense has its work cut out for them tonight.

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Francisco Liriano 3-8 15 15 0 0 0 0 82.2 90 55 54 12 40 74 5.88 1.57

The strikeouts are coming, but the innings get long sometimes. Liriano's focus has been the hurdle all season long, and there's little doubt that it'll be the mental block again this afternoon. You take it all one start at a time, one pitch at a time, so we'll continue to watch Cisco and hope he can consistently find the strike zone. Being "effectively wild" is part of Liriano's box of tricks, but he needs to throw more first-pitch strikes and fewer ball fours.



Lineup

Minnesota Twins @ St. Louis Cardinals

06/28/09 2:15 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins St. Louis Cardinals
Denard Span - CF Skip Schumaker - 2B
Brendan Harris - SS Khalil Greene - 3B
Joe Mauer - C Albert Pujols - 1B
Justin Morneau - 1B Mark DeRosa - LF
Jason Kubel - LF Ryan Ludwick - RF
Michael Cuddyer - RF Rick Ankiel - CF
Joe Crede - 3B Jason LaRue - C
Matt Tolbert - 2B Joel Pineiro - P
Francisco Liriano - P Tyler Greene - SS