Its September 12, and the Twins are fighting to keep a playoff berth. Raise your hand if you saw this happening before the season. Put your hands down, you filthy liars. You know who you are, because your pants are on fire. Anyway, it’s been a fun ride so far, and the Twins have the easiest remaining schedule of “playoff potential” teams.
That schedule has two games against the San Diego Padres on tap for this week. The Fathers are an astounding 27 games behind the Dodgers, but still aren’t the worst team in their own division. Still, a couple games against a sub-.500 team should be a must-win at this point for the Twins.
These two teams split a pair of games in California at the beginning of August. In the first game, only three Twins had hits in support of Jose Berrios — Byron Buxton, Eduardo Escobar, and Miguel Sano. Not scoring runs is not a good way to win a game, and despite Berrios only giving up two hits, he did surrender a run, so he lost. Alan Busenitz gave up two more runs in that game.
In the second game against the Padres, Ervin Santana was staked a four run lead in the second inning, and never looked back. Sano hit a long-ball in that game, and Mauer and Jorge Polanco hit doubles. Also, Big Erv had two RBI’s of his own, and pitched a complete game.
This go-around, Kyle Gibson gets the first start. Fear not though, baseball fans, Gibson has been good Gibby of late (nojinx nojinx nojinx.) Since the beginning of August he has pitched over 40 innings with a 3.10 ERA, an opponent line of .287/.333/.377, and he’s only given up three homers. Of the three Padres to ever face Gibson, Erick Aybar has the bulk of the at-bats, and the only hits. The Twins lineup will face Travis Wood, who gave up seven runs in two innings against the Cardinals in his last start. Wood has a 6.00 ERA on the season, which is now worse than Gibson. The Twins have not faced him often enough to have a reliable sample size, but have hit fairly well.
Game two once again features Ervin Santana. He’s coming off a relatively short five inning outing against the Royals. Santana has held the Padres to .154/.185/.212, although only Erick Aybar and Yangervis Solarte have more than a game’s worth of at-bats against him. Someone named Jose Pirela has taken him yard, though. On the mound for the Friars will be a rookie named Dimelson Lamet, who sounds like a comic book villian. He’s 7-7 for the year, with a 4.32 ERA, and obviously has never faced the Twins. He’s coming off a four game stretch where he has only given up seven runs, and not won a single game. Run support, people.
Let’s show the Padres who’s their daddy.
Game 1: Tuesday, August 12; 7:10 PM CT — Kyle Gibson RHP vs Travis Wood LHP
Game 2: Wednesday, August 13; 7:10 PM CT — Ervin Santana RHP vs Dinelson Lamet RHP
How many games do the Twins take from the Padres?
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