This has been a tough stretch of baseball for your Minnesota Twins, and its about to get tougher. The AL-leading Houston Astros are coming to town. Personally, I think that if Minnesota can make it through the home stand with a .500 record, that would be a success. The 2016 Twins lost the season series to the Astros 2-5. This is the first time the Twins play them this year, but hopefully they can match or beat that win total
Having taken only one of three against the Tampa Bay Rays, (thanks a lot Brandon Kintzler) the Twins need to win two against the Astros to make that .500 home stand happen. After watching the not-fun end of the rotation—who actually pitched pretty well overall—over the weekend, we should be treated to some good pitching for this series. Santana and Berrios should provide a chance to win in both games, and Houston has been pedestrian offensively, vs left handed pitching, which will help Hector Santiago. Having Santana and Berrios in line to start will hopefully get some rest for the bullpen, since literally everyone played in the marathon rubber game against Tampa. Most of them threw a lot of pitches, but Justin Haley was DL’d, and Kennys Vargas was optioned to AAA after the game, so reinforcements should be incoming. Hector Santiago also pitched in relief, so that may impact the rotation, but doesn't appear to have yet.
Offensively, after facing one of the AL’s best pitching staffs, the Twins young line-up draws an even better opponent by most statistics. This series is going to be a test of the maturity of Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, and Byron Buxton. Lets see how they recover after facing tough pitching.
We fortunately miss Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, and while the rest the guys Houston puts on the mound have been effective, they have also been tagged for a few runs in the month of May.
Some Music for your Memorial Day.
Stay safe, and please take a moment to remember those who have fought and died.
Game 1: Monday, 5/29, 1:10 pm CT – Ervin Santana RHP vs. Brad Peacock RHP
Game 2: Tuesday 5/30 7:10 pm CT – Jose Berrios RHP vs. Mike Fiers RHP
Game 3: Wednesday, 5/31, 12:10 pm CT – Hector Santiago LHP (?) vs. Joe Musgroves RHP
UPDATE (5/30/17) Per our friends over at Crawfish Boxes, Musgroves has been placed on the 10-day DL with shoulder discomfort. David Paulino RHP will be starting in his place.
- With Keuchel just coming off the DL, and Collin McHugh still on it, the Astro’s rotation isn’t quite settled at the moment.
- Brian McCann spent some time on the concussion DL, which meant that Juan Centeno got to play for the Astros. Remember him starting a bunch of games for us last year? Makes you really glad that Falvine signed some catchers this offseason.
- Santana, vs. Houston’s hitters, has a career stat line of .306/.333/.375. Carlos Correa has 3 singles in 4 at-bats against Santana. Carlos Beltran, who is apparently age-less, is .385/.429/.615 with a home run and 3 RBI’s against Santana in his career, which is the only home run, and half the RBI’s Santana has given up to the Astros Lineup.
- The five Twins who have faced him have hit .294/.368/.529 off Peacock. They have hit .250/.307/.485 off Fiers, and Dozier is notably 5-17 with 2 HR. The Twins have never seen Musgroves.
- Houston was one of the teams Berrios faced twice in his ill-fated MLB stint last year, and I’m not going to tell you total statistics, because you will be very sad if I do. Suffice it to say, he performed acceptably last May, but did really, really bad in a 2-inning start in August.
- Santiago has shown up to pitch vs the Astro bat-swingers in the past. In 128 at bats against him, they’re hitting .234/.333/.375
- On May 4th, 2016, in a Phil Hughes start, the Twins were defeated by the Astros 16-4. That was the most runs allowed in a single game, in that entire, awful season. They also gave up a total of 25 runs to Houston in a doubleheader on August 11th. Berrios started the first match (see above), went 2 innings, and the Twins lost 15-7. They promptly followed it by losing 10-2 in a game that Tommy Milone started.
How many games do you think the Twins win against Houston?
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