Last week the Twins played a rare five-game series against the Chicago White Sox, and they dropped three of those games. They can’t afford to lose this series, as they come in 6.5 games behind the Indians in the AL Central and just 1.5 games up on the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners for the second wild card spot.
Chicago sold off most of their veteran players this season and are clearly building for the future. With a record of 52-77, they are the worst team in the American League, and the third worst in all of baseball. Meanwhile, most of the Twins future is already here.
One of the veterans the White Sox have kept around is James Shields, who will pitch game one against Ervin Santana. Shields allowed three runs over six innings in his last start, which was also against the Twins. The Pale Hosers ended up winning that game, though, thanks to the Twins bullpen imploding. Ervin Santana actually out-pitched Shields in that tilt, going seven innings and only allowing two runs. Unfortunately, Taylor Rogers and Trevor Hildenberger allowed a run each in the eight and ninth innings, and the Twins offense couldn’t make up for it.
Game Two this time around will feature the future of the Twins pitching rotation: Jose Berrios. Last week against Chicago he didn’t have the best of days, allowing five runs on four hits in only 5.1 innings. On the bright side, only three of those runs were earned, and he struck out nine of the south siders. He also has a rematch on the mound, facing Derek Holland again. Holland gave up a home run to Byron Buxton for the only run of the game. By the way, Derek Holland is a switch-hitting pitcher, which can’t be terribly common. He’s not a good hitter from either side, though. That tidbit isn’t something we will need to worry about, just a fun fact for your next boring party.
The third game is not a rematch, as Bartolo Colon will face the White Sox for the first time this season. Colon has pitched well for the Twins in August, with four wins and only one loss. His shortest start (the loss) was only five innings, but outside of that he has preserved the bullpen well. Hopefully Colon can finish the month strong. He will face Miguel Gonzales. That is a really, really common name in certain parts of the US, not to mention Spanish-speaking countries. The Twins have batted pretty well against him historically, with the exception of Joe Mauer and Byron Buxton. I’m not worried about Buxton though.
Over the last two weeks, Buxton has hit .339/.356/.821 with seven dongs—but he isn’t the only hot Twin. Jorge Polanco is hitting .333/.370/.706 with five home runs during the same time frame. Even more impressively, Joe Mauer is hitting a lazy .407/.429/.519 over the previous 14 days.
It’s a good time to be hot. Make it work, boys!
Game 1: Tuesday, August 29; 7:10 PM CT — Ervin Santana RHP vs James Shields RHP
Game 2: Wednesday, August 30, 7:10 PM CT -- Jose Berrios RHP vs. Derek Holland LHP
Game 3: Thursday, August 31, 12:10 PM CT — Bartolo Colon RHP vs. Miguel Gonzales RHP
How many games do the Twins win against the White Sox
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