First Pitch: 1:10pm CDT
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)
|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.
|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.