clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game 54: Brewers at Twins

Can the Twin Cities Bombers split the series?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

“No, you’re out of step, Willy. ... Okay, now you’re stepping on my feet. ... You know this is a polka, right?”
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

First Pitch: 7:10p Central
Box with screen: FOX Sports North; (subscription)
Box without screen (English): WCCO 830 AM, Treasure Island Baseball Network
Caja sin pantalla (español):
Be Cognizant of Our Challenger: Brew Crew Ball

After the Minnesota Twins were GRADE-A LOSERS yesterday (not really, though... they’re still good), they finish up this “quick” two-game series tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers. I put “quick” in quotation marks because who knows if two games is actually quick? Back in my sandwich-making days (sorry, I’ll probably have a lot of these stories), the general manager was at the store wandering around, generally managing, and I mentioned that I was going to step outside for a “quick 5-minute break” once I finished up doing something. The general manager turned to me and asked, “How could you put an adjective like ‘quick’ to something that’s timed?”

Touché, Mr Here’s-what-you-need-to-improve-on-but-I’ll-never-tell-you-what-you’re-doing-well General Manager.

ICYMI (that’s “In case you missed it” in hip lingo), the Twins placed last night’s start Michael Pineda on the IL with right knee tendinitis (yes, the same knee he had issues with last year) and called up Devin Smeltzer to start tonight’s game in his major-league debut instead of Martin Perez. According to the Twitterland, which is always correct, this allows the Twins to start their four best starters against the Tampa Bay Rays, who are strangely good, and have a four-man rotation for eight or more games over 10+ days while Pineda recovers and can be eligible to come off the IL.

Smeltzer has been fantastic this year down in the minors, to say the least. Kyle, our in-house minor league expert, said that Smeltzer could earn a spot in the majors soon, and he was right. He also talks about Smeltzer’s repertoire:

He also has an insane 30/3 K/BB ratio with 1 HBP. Smeltzer can sit 89-92 and hit 93, but it plays well thanks to a deceptive delivery and a great changeup to pair it with. I think he is going to get some run as a starter in the Twins system, although he is blocked slightly by the sheer depth of starters the Twins have at Triple-A (the Red Wings will have a rotation of Stewart, Littell, Thorpe, De Jong, and Gonsalves, when the lefty returns from the IL). He could move up as a reliever and earn a spot on the big league team fairly quickly if the Twins needed him to.

In nine starts between Rochester and Pensacola, he’s posted a 1.15 ERA over 54.2 innings, allowed seven earned runs, two homers, and 48 strikeouts against ten walks.

The Brewers will counter with righty Zach Davies, unless they also want to make an unexpected roster move while I type this. Davies has put up a 2.43 ERA in 55.2 innings across 10 starts so far this season. His K/9 rate is low (6.1) and his BB/9 rate (2.7) is about in line with his career rate (2.6). He throws a high-80s sinker, and a low-80s change-up. He also mixes in a curve, cutter, and slider from time to time. Davies was knocked around his last outing when he faced the Cincinnati Reds in Milwaukee as he went only three innings, allowing six earned runs, two homers, and a walk while striking out two.

Let’s see if Minnesota’s bomb squad can make that a second bad outing in a row for Davies.

The "Let's Make Roster Moves While This is Being Written" Lineups

Lorenzo Cain - CF Max Kepler - RF
Christian Yelich - DH Jorge Polanco - SS
Ryan Braun - LF C.J. Cron - DH
Yasmani Grandal - C Eddie Rosario - LF
Mike Moustakas - 3B Miguel Sano - 3B
Jesus Aguilar - 1B Marwin Gonzalez - 1B
Hernan Perez - RF Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Keston Hiura - 2B Jason Castro - C
Orlando Arcia - SS Byron Buxton - CF