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Game 57: Twins @ Athletics

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First Pitch: 8:05pm CDT
TV: FSN
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Athletics Nation

First things first: a massive thank you to the guys for holding down the fort while I was in the States gettin' my American on. Especially Stu (who rocked my Thursdays) and Cmathewson (who recapped last weekend). The recap for tonight's game will be up tomorrow morning, but barring a few naps and sluggish mornings around the office things around here should pretty much be back to normal for me. So, while I'm currently somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, here's what I have for your starting pitchers!


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Trevor Cahill 4-2 7 7 0 0 0 0 41.2 34 17 14 6 14 20 3.02 1.15

While MLB.com is telling me that it doesn't know who the A's will throw on Saturday or Sunday, if precedent can be given any credence Trevor Cahill follows Dallas Braden, which means Gio Gonzalez should do on Sunday.

Cahill has been surprisingly effective for the A's. His minor league numbers have suggested big things, but as a 21-year old last season the kid jumped directly from double-A to the majors. And pitched well. The strikeout numbers aren't as flashy as they were in the minors, but he does an exceptional job of limiting base runners. Cahill pitches to contact, doesn't get a great deal of swings and misses, but in spite of all the contact that's made off of him not much of it is solid contact. More than 50% of his balls in play are grounders, and his defense has (largely) picked him up.

FIP and xFIP both think Cahill should be 1.5 to 2 runs worse in ERA than he actually is. That's the good news. In Oakland, if Minnesota's hitters can put good wood on a fly ball there's every chance we could see the return of our impressive offense. If he chooses to nibble, Cahill could find himself with more base runners than he's used to, in very quick order.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Francisco Liriano 5-3 10 10 0 0 0 0 65.2 66 24 24 2 19 66 3.29 1.29

The only winning pitcher in a dreadful series in Seattle, Liriano looks to pick up his second consecutive win. He's bounced back over his last two starts, where in spite of not having his best stuff has recorded 14 strikeouts in 13 innings, while walking just two. Oakland's offense should, without trying to sound over-confident, give Cisco another opportunity to carve up a batting order. As long as he's aggressive.

I'll call it: 7 innings, 9 strikeouts, 2 walks, 7 hits, 2 runs. Somebody tell Bert.

UPDATE FROM RANDBALL'S STU:

Lineups for tonight's game are out. Justin Morneau has the flu. (EVEN MORE UPDATED: aaaaaand J.J. Hardy has been scratched due to his wrist. Tolbert takes his spot in the order. The only healthy bench player is Drew Butera.) The Twins infield is, um, yeah:


Lineup

Minnesota Twins @ Oakland Athletics

06/05/10 9:05 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins Oakland Athletics
Denard Span - CF Rajai Davis - CF
J.J. Hardy - SS Mark Ellis - 2B
Joe Mauer - C Kurt Suzuki - DH
Jim Thome - DH Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B
Jason Kubel - RF Adam Rosales - 1B
Delmon Young - LF Jake Fox - C
Danny Valencia - 3B Gabe Gross - RF
Brendan Harris - 1B Cliff Pennington - SS
Nick Punto - 2B Eric Patterson - LF

Brendan Harris is playing first. Plenty of time to get to the liquor store.