First Pitch: 2:10 pm CDT
Radio: WCCO 830, TIBN
Well, everyone, this is it.
It genuinely seems like a matter of weeks ago when we were gathering for an obscenely early start to the baseball season in Baltimore. The Twins were down a pair in the ninth, and rallied back to tie things up. The comeback lit a fire under the fanbase — Minnesota was back, picking up from where they were last season, and weren’t going to fold this time around.
Then Fernando Rodney gave up a walk-off home run, and here we are.
Yes, 2018 was a disappointing season by all accounts. Littered with injuries, suspensions, and underperformance, the roster was (for one reason or another) absent of a lot of the talent that brought the Twins a lightning-quick playoff stint last year. But breathe these guys in; yes, they’re the dregs of another losing season, but they’re also the only professional baseball players you’ll see at Target Field for six months.
And speaking of seeing ballplayers for the last time, there is every possibility that this afternoon will be the last time the greatest catcher in Twins history walks onto the field. While Minnesota legend Joe Mauer hasn’t made any official announcement, there’s been enough rumbling and speculation to warrant some serious consideration that ol’ Joe will hang it up. Whether that happens after the game, months from now, or even a few seasons down the line, it will be a special day at Target Field, as fans are sure to show their appreciation this afternoon.
Chicago’s Starter: Dylan Covey
(5-13, 5.06 ERA, 4.22 FIP, 115.2 IP, 6.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 1.2 fWAR)
Covey has a career 5-20 record, mitigated a bit by struggling Chicago teams around him, but still largely caused by his own shortcomings on the mound. Covey doesn’t have the strikeout numbers to legitimize him as an effectively wild, which means too many walks and hits allowed on all counts. Still, he’s only 27, and may yet prove a dependable arm for the next successful Sox team. Or, he may go the way of the P.J. Walters of the world.
Minnesota’s Starter: Zack Littell
(0-2, 6.61 ERA, 6.53 FIP, 16.1 IP, 5.5 K/9, 5.0 BB/9, -0.3 fWAR)
Littell will do the opening today, making his first starting appearance since facing these same White Sox on June 5th. Littell is coming off a pair of scoreless outings, but just three games ago gave up four runs in under three innings of relief to the Royals.
GO TWINS GO!!!