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Series Preview: Twins take on Gardy and the Dbacks at Target Field

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The Twins look to stay in contention this weekend in a series that features some tough pitching matchups and Bartolo Colon.

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks
FIRE GARY!!!!11
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Let’s cut to the chase—Gardy’s back in town!!!

Just figured I’d get the most important fact about this weekend’s series between the Twins and the Diamondbacks out of the way first. Yes, former Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire—currently serving as Arizona’s bench coach—is making his first “official” return to Target Field. I say “official” because Gardy technically has been back, even just earlier this year when he came for the Opening Day celebration for former bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek. Gardy, however, has not been back to Target Field wearing another team’s uniform windbreaker since being fired after the 2014 season. He’ll do that this weekend.

It’s perfect timing too, because it’s also Twins Hall of Fame weekend! Michael Cuddyer is set to be inducted before Saturday night’s game, and Andy MacPhail before Sunday afternoon’s game. I still think it’s weird how fast Cuddyer was inducted and, alternatively, how long it took to induct MacPhail, but whatever. Just note those games may start slightly later than usual due to the ceremonies.

Speaking of ceremonies, there will also be one for Rod Carew before Friday night’s game. Before you say, “Haven’t the Twins already had like five Rod Carew nights this year?” I’m going to tell you to shut the hell up because who complains about having too many Rod Carew nights?

Anyway, on to the actual baseball!

After dropping two of three games to the Indians, the Twins find themselves six games back in the division—but they are still only one game out of the second wild card spot, and still very much in contention. Meanwhile, the DBacks are nineteen games behind first place in the NL West and... Jesus Christ, they are still in second place and currently the top wild card team in the National League. Fucking Dodgers!

So the Twins will really want to get back on track and get some wins this weekend, but it’ll be hard because the DBacks are good. The first two games of the series look like pitching duels. On Friday, Twins “ace” Ervin Santana will be facing off against 27-year-old Zack Godley, who has a pretty awesome curveball and a sparkly 2.95 ERA on the season. That will be fun.

Saturday’s matchup features Jose Berrios, who has a pretty awesome curevball himself, against Zack Greinke. You’ve probably heard of him. Though Greinke had a super un-Greinke like 4.37 ERA last year, he’s been more back to his old self this year, owning a 3.01 ERA with 174 strikeouts over 155.2 innings. Luckily, Joe Mauer has a lot of Greinke experience, going 18-for-50 (.360) off him in his career.

After the two pitching duels we get Bartolo Colon. And some other guy, the Diamondbacks haven’t gotten that far yet. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Big Sexy, but Colon struggled a bit in his last start, surrendering three home runs and somehow getting out of more runners-on-base situations than I feel comfortable with. He might truly be out of gas. Gregor Blanco is also 5-for-11 (.455) off Bartolo in his career, and Paul Goldschmidt is 3-for-8 (.375) with a double and a triple. I’m worried.

Maybe Gardy can help throw us a bone in that one.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Friday, August 18th, 7:10 pm CT — Ervin Santana RHP vs. Zach Godley RHP

Game 2: Saturday, August 19th, 6:10 pm CT — Jose Berrios RHP vs. Zack Greinke RHP

Game 3: Sunday, August 20th, 1:10 pm CT — Bartolo Colon RHP vs. TBD

Notes

  • This is the first time the Diamondbacks have been to Target Field since September 2014.
  • The family of the late NFL player Konrad Reuland, who ended up being Rod Carew’s heart donor, will be at the Carew ceremonies before Friday’s game.
  • Keep an eye on how much Dillon Gee and Nik Turley are used this weekend. If the Twins rely on them a lot, it makes it even more likely that they will call up Stephen Gonsalves to start one of games in Monday’s doubleheader against the White Sox.
  • Mitch Garver, who was called up to replace the injured Robbie Grossman, will most likely be making his major league debut at some point this weekend.

Poll

How many games do you think the Twins will win against the DBacks this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    0
    (11 votes)
  • 22%
    1
    (40 votes)
  • 44%
    2
    (78 votes)
  • 27%
    3
    (48 votes)
177 votes total Vote Now