The Twins did not have a great weekend, to say the least. In the course of three days, they lost four times to the Cleveland Indians, and now find themselves back in second place in the AL Central. Second place sucks. To get back into first, the Twins will need to win—and there’s good chance they can do that this week as the White Sox come to town for a three game series.
There are several reasons for my optimism here:
- At 31-37, the White Sox are currently in last place in the AL Central. In fact, they have the second-to-worst record in the entire American League.
- Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios—the Twins’s good pitchers—are pitching the first two games of this series. We don’t yet know who’ll pitch the third game, but hopefully it will be someone good (the power of positive thinking, people—let’s use it).
- The Twins have already beaten the White Sox five of the eight times they’ve faced them this season.
- Joe Mauer is tall.
These things bode well for the Twins. So do the pitching match-ups.
On Tuesday night, the aforementioned Santana will face Derek Holland, whom the Twins beat up on back on May 11th. Remember that game? Edurado Escobar, Brian Dozier, and Miguel Sano each homered off Holland, who only lasted five innings. Although he only gave up one run over six innings in his last start against the Orioles, Holland has otherwise been dreadful this month—he gave up eight runs to the Tigers on June 2nd, and six runs to the Rays on June 8th.
On Wednesday, Berrios will be taking on Sox “starter” David Holmberg. Holmberg has worked out of the bullpen most of the year, but was moved to the rotation in late May when Dylan Covey landed on the DL. In his four starts so far this season, he’s only made it five innings once, and managed to strike out a season-high four batters that outing. Berrios, meanwhile, pitched eight innings in his last outing, and has struck out as many as eleven in a start this season.
The White Sox will send their “Ace”, Jose Quintana, to the mound on Thursday. Quintana was a 5.07 ERA so far this season. He last faced the Twins on April 15th, when he gave up five runs over 5.2 innings. Robbie Grossman, Miguel Sano, Chris Gimenez, Max Kepler, and Byron Buxton all hit doubles off him that game, and Kepler added on a triple to boot.
Who will start for the Twins against Quintana in Thursday’s matinee? Hard to say. Hector Santiago was listed as a possibility, but he’s making a rehab start this week in Triple-A, so I’m not to sure. Adam Wilk cannot be recalled, since he was called up and DFAed last Saturday (the Twins must wait 10-days to recall him, barring an injury to someone else). Phil Hughes isn’t close to returning. Perhaps it will be Randy Rosario, Fernando Romero, or some other random call-up? David Hurlbut!? A random waiver claimee?
We shall see. In any case, though, this looks like a good series for the Twins to get back on track.
Game 1: Tuesday, 6/20, 7:10 pm CT - Ervin Santana RHP vs. Derek Holland LHP
Game 2: Wednesday, 6/21, 7:10 pm CT - Jose Berrios RHP vs. David Holmberg LHP
Game 3: Thursday, 6/22, 12:10 pm CT - TBD vs. Jose Quintana LHP
- The White Sox placed center fielder Leury Garcia on the 10-day DL on Monday, so he won’t be around this series. One or more other Garcias probably will be around, though.
How many games do you think the Twins will win against the White Sox this week?
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