Having one 9 of their last 11 games, the Twins are still the worst team in the American League. But at least they're currently sporting a better winning percentage than the Cubs and the Padres, and they're currently neck-and-neck with the Rockies for the third worst record in baseball.
In spite of those facts the Twins have already won four series in a row, and have a chance at sweeping their second in that same span. Let's take all three from the Cubbies.
Cubs: Johnson (LF), Castro (SS), DeJesus (RF), Soriano (DH), Baker (1B), Mather (CF), Barney (2B), Stewart (3B), Hill (C)
Twins: Span (CF), Revere (RF), Mauer (DH), Willingham (LF), Morneau (1B), Plouffe (3B), Dozier (SS), Butera (C), Carroll (2B)
|2012 - Francisco Liriano||1-6||13||8||0||0||0||0||46.0||51||35||33||6||29||47||6.46||1.74|
In his last two starts Liriano has allowed one earned run in 12 innings while striking out 17, walking just 3 and allowing 7 hits. I said recently that his trade value was smudged because of his horrendous start to the season, but a few more outings like the last two and I'll be eating crow. Somebody will give up something worth while for a pitcher who can throw like Liriano, provided he gives them a reason to.
|2012 - Ryan Dempster||1-3||10||10||0||0||0||0||66.0||52||21||19||6||19||57||2.59||1.08|
Here's what I said about Dempster in my pitcher preview for the Cubs over at SB Nation Minnesota:
At 35, Dempster is off to one of the best starts of his career. His once erratic command seems to have toned itself down as walk rates have hit a career low. He's doing a great job of mixing speeds between his four and two seam fastballs, off-sets it with a sinker, and of course he still has a pretty good slider.
The one thing that sticks out with Dempster: 25% of balls in play against him have been line drives, and yet his batting average on balls in play is just .250. While there isn't a complete correlation between those two numbers, you could easily expect his BABIP to be 120 points higher.