Baseball is a game of numbers. Its long history is dotted with legendary digits: 61, .406, whatever Denny Hocking's jersey number was. The playoff hunt the Twins have stumbled into at least a season or two earlier than anyone foresaw is no different.
1.5 This is the number of games by which both the Twins and Angels trail the Houston Astros for the second wild card spot. Jesse wrote up a very nice primer on what this weekend has in store for all three franchises. I personally would like to see both the Twins and Astros make it, given the predicament both teams were in prior to 2015, but if I have to choose, well, I'm sorry, Houston.
2 2/3 Innings pitched by Kyle Gibson last night. His shortest start of the season came in his most important start of the season. This is suboptimal.
6 1/3 Innings pitched by the bullpen last night. This is potentially ungood as well, because...
0 That's the amount of days off the Twins have left, weather-permitting. Burning 19 outs from an at-best unreliable unit in the service of a blowout is not the ideal way to enter this weekend.
43 The jersey number of Tigers' closer Bruce Rondon, who has been sent home for the rest of the year, due to "effort level." Bless You Boys has player reactions to Rondon's grounding. You would hope that pairing clubhouse turmoil with a lame-duck manager will translate to a Twins sweep this weekend. You would hope.
10-15 The number of pitches Tommy Milone threw in a bullpen sesh yesterday. It does not sound like it went well. So, the Twins rotation remains Gibson, Mike Pelfrey, Ervin Santana, and a smattering of health/pitch count question marks.
95.3 The frequency of the FM station the Pohlads bought. Speculation is their flagship station (96.3 FM), which currently mixes modern rock and baseball, will now split to one music signal and one sports/Twins signal.
1 This fan. He's number one. The Twins owe him a playoff berth.
We'll see you back here this afternoon.