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GameThread: Twins vs. Athletics, Game 8

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One of the newest Twins faces off against the newest Athletics starting pitcher.

Brian Kersey

The Twins did lose the opener against the Athletics back on Monday, but hopefully another day off will allow the nagging injuries of Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham to heal.

Jesse Chavez

Thanks to an outbreak of injuries to the Athletics' rotation, they've been forced to use the young Sonny Gray as their Opening Day starter, plus they converted career reliever Jesse Chavez into a starting pitcher. It's an interesting choice as Chavez has been a terrible pitcher for his entire career, but apparently scouts love his stuff or something because he's been handed multiple chances despite a career 5.39 ERA. For what it's worth though, he gave up only 1 run in 6 innings in his third career start last week against Seattle.

When he was a reliever, Chavez would throw a cutter, four-seamer, curveball, two-seamer, and change-up. His curveball has plenty of sweep to it and has been rated as his best pitch according to FanGraphs.

Phil Hughes

Hughes is making his second start as a Twin and he's looking to rebound from his last one against the White Sox. Though Hughes did well in striking out 7 and walking only 1 in 5 innings, he also allowed a pair of home runs, which has always been his Achilles heel. Success against the Athletics today will likely come if he manages to keep the ball in the yard.

While he's thrown a slider in the past, it appears that Hughes has dumped it for a cutter in his first start at Chicago. Still, he follows in Mike Pelfrey's footsteps where he will pound the zone with fastball after fastball, though he will also mix in some curveballs and change-ups as well. Perhaps using the repeated heater is Hughes understanding that it's his best pitch, as FanGraphs rates it as his only above-average offering.

Starting lineups will be posted whenever possible.

Athletics

  1. Sam Fuld, CF
  2. Jed Lowrie, SS
  3. Josh Donaldson, 3B
  4. Brandon Moss, 1B
  5. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  6. Alberto Callaspo, DH
  7. John Jaso, C
  8. Josh Reddick, RF
  9. Eric Sogard, 2B

SP Jesse Chavez

Twins

  1. Brian Dozier, 2B
  2. Joe Mauer, C
  3. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
  4. Chris Colabello, DH
  5. Jason Kubel, LF
  6. Kurt Suzuki, C
  7. Chris Herrmann, RF
  8. Aaron Hicks, CF
  9. Pedro Florimon, SS

SP Phil Hughes