Getting the pre-game rolling today--it's another big game on Twinkie Town. Autumn is in the air, leaves are changing, it's a little more crisp outdoors and the best part? Apart from the Vikings being 2-0? The Twins are playing meaningful baseball, and as a team they're playing their best baseball of the year.
There've been heroes on all sides of the diamond. Joe Mauer's sweet swing and calm demeanor continue to light up the plate, Michael Cuddyer's powerful displays of offensive prowess have rejuvenized the scoring, Brian Duensing's deceptively effective nature on the mound and Orlando Cabrera's energy...all just examples of Minnesota's new life.
The Twins are still 2.5 games out with just 11 games remaining, but they're winning at the right time. If we win tonight it's a big sweep of the tailspinning and non-entity White Sox, and it would be helpful if the Tigers would do us a favor and lose. Stay tuned, sports fans.
Let's get to the starters
|2009 - Mark Buehrle||12-9||31||31||1||1||0||0||204.0||211||92||87||27||44||102||3.84||1.25|
Buehrle is to the White Sox what Brett Favre was to the Packers for a long, long time. He's a very good pitcher, and sometimes the Twins have a good game against him, have his number and get to him early. But other times, as we're all too familiar, the results aren't quite so friendly. It's hard to believe he's only 30. Anyway, his strikeout rates are down this year, but so are his walk rates, although not to the same proportion. The good news for White Sox fans is that Buehrle still does a decent job of limiting base runners, and even better than that he does a pretty good job of stranding those base runners. His changeup has been his best pitch.
|2009 - Brian Duensing||4-1||21||7||0||0||0||0||72.2||68||28||26||5||27||49||3.22||1.31|
Brian's fastball and slider have each been money for him and are big reasons for his successes to this point. He's getting guys to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone and it's helping him to tally a few strikeouts--more than he's had since his first season with the Red Wings in 2007. Can he continue his string of crucial performances tonight?
LEN III's Midday update talks about Denard Span, who's not only been an integral cog in the leadoff role this season but has done well against Buehrle. It sounds like Denard was "up and down" yesterday after getting beaned in the head on Monday. Here's hoping he can play today. If he can't, hopefully he's feeling better soon. Span in the leadoff role is always preferrable to Gomez at this point in their careers, but health always comes first.
Lineups aren't currently available, so feel free to post them in the comments if I don't get to them.