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Game 95: Indians at Twins

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The Twins make a run at looking more competitive by sweeping the Indians out of Target Field in today's contest.

USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch: 1:10pm CDT

TV: FS-N

Radio: K-Twin, TIBN, BOB FM

Know Thine Enemy: Let's Go Tribe

Indians: Stubbs (CF), Cabrera (SS), Kipnis (2B), Swisher (DH), Santana (C), Reynolds (1B), Brantley (LF), Raburn (RF), Aviles (3B)

Twins: Dozier (2B), Herrmann (C), Mauer (DH), Morneau (1B), Doumit (RF), Plouffe (3B), Thomas (LF), Hicks (CF), Florimon (SS)


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Scott Diamond 5-8 17 17 0 0 0 0 91.1 115 58 54 15 24 43 5.32 1.52

Scott has combined for eight innings over his last two starts, and since the beginning of May has provided just four quality starts in fourteen opportunities. The Twins haven't been shy about giving auditions to other players when certain guys have fallen short of expectations, which makes you wonder how long of a leash the front office will give Diamond.

If the offense can produce more than three runs today that would be a nice bonus. So far the staunch bullpen hasn't allowed a run this series. Speaking of the bullpen - Caleb Thielbar will be unavailable for the next few days due to "groin discomfort". So, that's fun.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Justin Masterson 10-7 20 20 3 3 0 0 135.1 112 56 56 10 54 137 3.72 1.23

Masterson has already thrown three complete game shutouts this season and is on pace to set a personal high of 240 innings pitched in 2013. The biggest difference in his performance this season has been his strikeout totals. He's still getting a lot of ground balls, the command is still pretty mediocre in the grand scheme of things, but those swinging strikes are helping the peripherals across the board.

Part of that is because Masterson is relying on his slider significantly more often. Against right-handed hitters he'll focus on the outer third of the plate, where if he misses he'll usually miss outside. Versus left-handed hitters, Masterson will continue to hit those same spots - which will be down and in on the lefties - but heat maps show that he'll also go back door. Hitters continue to have issues with it - almost always rolling over if they do put the ball in play.

No matter what happens today, the Twins will be putting the ball on the ground quite a bit when they make contact. The key is to lay off of those pitches that Masterson likes to use as bait, and hopefully force him to put the ball over the plate a bit more than he's comfortable with. If the offense can make that happen today, then Minnesota will have a good chance at getting to Masterson early.