Exactly 70 games to go. Note that no team has ever won the AL Central with fewer than 86 wins ('97 Cleveland), and only twice ('98 and '08) has the division champion won fewer than 90. That's a lot of wins left to get for a 47-45 team.
|2009 - Nick Blackburn||8-4||18||18||3||0||0||0||123.1||129||50||42||10||29||54||3.06||1.28|
Blackburn goes tonight for the Twins, having got himself set on the best run of his career. He's had a decision in each of his last five outings, and though he's just 3-2 in that span, he's thrown three complete games and is averaging nearly eight innings a start. A 2.54 ERA in those five starts shows you how well he's pitching, too.
|2009 - Gio Gonzalez||1-2||6||3||0||0||0||0||24.1||35||19||17||3||14||28||6.29||2.01|
He's young (23) and he's left-handed, which in the past has seemed to spell trouble for the Twins. We're never quite sure why. Gonzalez has spent the year back and forth between Oakland and Triple-A Sacramento, where he's 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 12 starts this year. He may be up for good now, though, as he's replaced Josh Outman in the rotation after the latter underwent season-ending elbow surgery - though he's definitely Oakland's fifth starter.
He strikes out a lot of hitters (28 in 24.1 innings in the bigs, 71 in 61 innings in the minors), but will walk a few as well (over one every two innings). As you might guess from those numbers, he's yet to pitch deep into a game this year; in his three starts, he's departed after the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.
Late game, late lineups. We'll post them as soon as we have them.
07/20/09 10:05 PM EDT
|Minnesota Twins||Oakland Athletics|
|Denard Span - CF||Adam Kennedy - 3B|
|Nick Punto - SS||Orlando Cabrera - SS|
|Justin Morneau - 1B||Scott Hairston - CF|
|Michael Cuddyer - RF||Matt Holliday - LF|
|Jason Kubel - DH||Jack Cust - DH|
|Delmon Young - LF||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|Brendan Harris - 3B||Daric Barton - 1B|
|Mike Redmond - C||Ryan Sweeney - RF|
|Alexi Casilla - 2B||Mark Ellis - 2B|