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Game 59: Royals @ Twins

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Last night, the Twins beat up on defending AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, jumping out to an early lead en route to a 7-3 victory. Tonight, they draw an easier match-up with right-hander Kyle Davies on the hill for the Royals.

Unfortunately, with J.J. Hardy still on the shelf, the Twins will once again trot out a weakened lineup that features Matt Tolbert in the two-hole. Ron Gardenhire's decision to repeatedly trot out Tolbert in one of the most important spots in the batting order absolutely boggles the mind; the utility infielder has amassed a .160/.185/.160 hitting line in 27 plate appearances with the Twins thus far, and probably doesn't deserve to be in the big leagues to begin with as he held a .675 OPS in Triple-A. He's not only the worst hitter on the team, he's arguably one of the worst hitters in all of baseball. And yet Gardenhire continues to insert him between two of his best hitters at the top of the lineup, making him an enormous liability.

I tend to get annoyed with fans who nitpick every single decision made by the Twins manager, but Gardenhire absolutely deserves harsh criticism for his handling of the lineup with Hardy and Orlando Hudson out. Granted, the injuries are tying his hands to some degree, but using Tolbert in the No. 2 spot is quite simply one of the dumbest things that can possibly be done.

In any case, the Twins will try to win in spite of their foolishly composed lineup. They'll stand a fine chance of doing so being that they're at home, facing a weak offense, and enjoying a lopsided pitching match-up.

Pitching match-ups listed below; lineups past the jump.


Kyle Davies

#34 / Pitcher / Kansas City Royals

6-1

210

R

R

Sep 09, 1983



W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Kyle Davies 4-4 12 11 0 0 0 0 60.2 65 37 37 6 23 42 5.49 1.45

What can be said about Davies? He's a typical back-of-the-rotation guy on a bad team. He's been pitching slightly better than his ugly career line, but he's a hittable righty with control problems so the Twins should have no trouble picking him apart.


Carl Pavano

#48 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins

6-5

250

R

R

Jan 08, 1976



W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Carl Pavano 5-6 11 11 1 0 0 0 72.1 75 34 33 8 11 47 4.11 1.19


The man, the 'stache, the legend. Pavano has completed seven-plus innings in seven of his past eight starts and recently he's been more intimidating than ever as a result of his formidable mustache. He suffered his worst start of the season last time he faced the Royals at home, coughing up seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings, but it's a pretty good bet that won't happen again.


Lineup

Kansas City Royals @ Minnesota Twins

06/09/10 8:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins
Scott Podsednik - LF Denard Span - CF
Jason Kendall - C Matt Tolbert - 2B
David DeJesus - DH Joe Mauer - C
Billy Butler - 1B Justin Morneau - 1B
Jose Guillen - RF Michael Cuddyer - RF
Alberto Callaspo - 3B Jason Kubel - DH
Mike Aviles - 2B Delmon Young - LF
Mitch Maier - CF Danny Valencia - 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt - SS Nick Punto - SS