Know Thine Enemy: Royals Review
The Twins come into tonight riding a four game winning streak and a 6-1 record on their current 9-game home stand. Problem is, the Chicago White Sox have won 7 straight and the Twins division lead stands at 3.5 games. Key to winning the division will be to continue pounding teams like the Kansas City Royals, who at 57-80 have an almost mirror image of the Twins current 81-57 win-loss record. So far in 2010, the Twins have pounded away on the Royals, to the tune of a 10-3 record and 103-57 advantage in runs scored. On paper, tonight looks like a big pitching advantage for the Twins, but a wise man once told me baseball games aren't played on paper.
|2010 - Francisco Liriano||12-7||26||26||0||0||0||0||165.1||154||60||60||3||52||178||3.27||1.25|
What more can I say about Francisco Liriano? He's been every bit as good this year as any of us could have hoped. More than a strikeout an inning, pretty much healthy all year, the slider's been nasty, he's keeping the ball on the ground, and he's only given up three home runs on the season. Probably the only reason he's not getting more consideration for the AL Cy Young Award is luck, as Liriano's ERA is about a run higher than his FIP (2.31) and xFIP (3.01), and he's had the bullpen blow many leads, including last week's 7 inning, zero run gem. Liriano has pitched one game this year against Kansas City, 7 innings of 3 hit baseball and 6 strikeouts vs 0 walks in the Twins 19-1 victory in late July.
|2010 - Brian Bannister||7-11||22||22||0||0||0||0||124.0||149||84||82||23||47||75||5.95||1.58|
Brian Bannister has spent the last month on the DL with a bum shoulder, and it sounds like he'll be on a strict pitch count tonight. Then again, the way he's pitched all season, it may not be a pitch count that gets him out of the game. In his second to last start before being shut down, Bannister was rocked by the Twins for 11 hits and 5 runs over six innings in a 6-4 Twins victory.
I'll post lineups after the jump, once they are available.