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Game 84: Twins at Athletics

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The Twins are back at it on the west coast.

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Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

First Pitch: way too late 9:07p Central
TV: FOX Sports North; (subscription)
Radio: WCCO 830 AM; No Cory Provus This Series Network [ i n t e r n a l s c r e a m i n g ]
Know Thine Enemy: Athletics Nation (this is a pretty generic name, no offense but just sayin’; not the staff’s fault at all, though)

So we’re back on the west coast. Okay. But hey, at least Minnesota Twins baseball is back, so there’s that. They’re on the west coast to take on the Oakland Athletics. Now I say “Athletics” instead of the shortened version for one reason: I strongly and sincerely believe that there should not be an apostrophe in the shortened version. It’s not “Athletic’s” or “Athletics’s”, so there’s that. I’ll say the shortened version out loud (you can’t tell if I’m using an apostrophe or not), but I won’t type it. If anyone can give me a professional reason as to why there should be an apostrophe in the shortened version and back it up with valid evidence, I’ll use it.

It’s my mother’s birthday today! I’ve done my obligatory post on the Facebook wishing her a happy birthday and I will probably give her a call as well, even though I’m going home tomorrow to take a long holiday and visit her and my stepdad, family, etc. However, I’ll wish her a happy birthday on here as well, just to have my bases covered in case she reads my posts: Happy Birthday, Mom! I don’t remember specifics, but I am pretty sure that she’s said that she’s sat up watching the 1991 World Series with me (I was about one-and-a-half at the time). Some of my earliest memories have been at the newly-constructed Coors Field with my Mom and Dad, taking in a Colorado Rockies game after we moved to Colorado (hence my also being a fan of the Rockies). We try to make it to a game each summer, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Either way, it’s always fun to take in a game with her (and the family, too). In fact, we’ll be at the game on Saturday!

The Athletics are in the middle of the American League West right now. More specifically, they’re at the bottom of the top: the Houston Astros lead (duh) and then it is the Texas Rangers (6.5 games back) and Oakland (7.0 games back). They will be sending out mustache aficionado Daniel Mengden to start tonight. He’s a righty that’s bounced between their AAA affiliate and the majors a few times this year, putting up a 4.03 ERA in six games (four starts) over 29 innings. He owns a 7.4 K/9, 5.0 BB/9, and a 8.4 H/9 so far this year. He has a four-seam fastball that clocks in the low-to-mid-90s that induces more grounders than fly balls, and his other pitches in his arsenal (sinker in low-90s, change in mid-80s, curve in low-70s, and cutter in upper-80s) typically get more fly balls than anything.

Our Twins will counter with All-Star Jake Odorizzi. I know I said he was starting last Tuesday and I was wrong. I apologize for that. I’m right this time, unless the Twins decide to change that between now and the start of the game. Last time out was Wednesday night at Target Field against his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays, when did not receive a decision in a 6-4 tWINs: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR. Overall, there’s a reason he’s an All-Star: 2.73 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.074 WHIP, 164 ERA+.

OLD FRIENDS ALERT: Catcher Chris Herrmann has been reinstated from the Injured List by the Athletics (knee surgery); and, yes, go-getter non-wet-blanket-extraordinaire Robbie Grossman is still hangin’ strong with the team (70 games, .243/.329/.383, 5 HR, 22 RBI).

Today's Lineups

Max Kepler - RF Marcus Semien - SS
Jorge Polanco - SS Matt Chapman - 3B
Nelson Cruz - DH Matt Olson - 1B
Marwin Gonzalez - LF Khris Davis - DH
C.J. Cron - 1B Mark Canha - RF
Luis Arraez - 2B Ramon Laureano - CF
Miguel Sano - 3B Robbie Grossman - LF
Jason Castro - C Chris Herrmann - C
Byron Buxton - CF Franklin Barreto - 2B