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Game 39: Tigers at Twins

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Get your first dose of two seven-inning Gardy fests right here.

Guess which hat the ball is under! (The shaky focus is meant to FOOL YOU.)
Farmer James — twinsbrewer images

Time: 6:10 Central. Vegas Line: -160 MIN / DET +150

Weather: Mostly clear, no wind, 73° at first pitch

Opponent’s excellent SB site: Bless You Boys

TV: FSN, Free Game Of The Day (out-of-market, natch). Radio: Atteberry liked bowling with Bert in a goofy shirt

(Yeah, if you didn’t like pictures of food, you won’t like one of hops, either... but we worked REALLY HARD at harvesting these things, so there you are.)

The first of two sevens today features Twins folk hero Randy Dobnak against 29-year-old lefty Matthew Boyd. Dobnak you should know by now, and our own JohnFoley posted this statistical analysis of his potential, which promptly caused Dobbers to turn terrible forever. Just kidding, he’s not terrible. But he still hasn’t received every item on his Target wedding registry! Show your true Twins fandom and buy the Dobnaks a meat thermometer or air mattress – maybe they’ll let you stay overnight and cook roast for you. (They probably won’t.)

Boyd is something of a southpaw Kyle Gibson; when he’s good he’s highly competent, and when he’s bad he’s not good. (I’m really tired so that’s about the best sentence I can do. Harvesting is HARD.) The last few years he’s relied primarily on a 92ish fastball with a little sink, and an 80ish slider which is much more effective. Prone to dingers. Digits (career for Dobstache, 2019 for Boyd):

Naturally you’re all aware that Twins catcher Alex Avila spent most of his career with Detroit (since the Twins play them about 91 times per season). Did you know that Tigers general manager Al Avila is his dad? (First Cuban-American baseball GM, by the way.) He had the assistant job when Alex got drafted. It might have been a nepotism pick at first (how many Gardenhires did the Twins draft?) when Alex went in the 34th round out of high school; it wasn’t three years later when college Alex went in the fifth. Besides, nepotism has no friends when assembling a major-league roster; Al let Alex leave in free agency once, signed him again a year later, traded him after that. It’s not personal; it’s strictly business.

Alex Avila is also Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda’s godson. His grandfather, Ralph Avila, was longtime director of Latin American scouting for the Dodgers until retiring in 1999, and a good friend of Lasorda’s – Alex’s middle name is Thomas. In 2010, Avila’s first full rookie season, Lasorda visited the Tigers’ locker room to gush like a proud papa; you will not be shocked to learn that Lasorda and Jim Leyland got along great.

So, of course, what this means is that if you ever say anything bad about Tommy Lasorda, it’s Alex Avila’s duty to kill you. It’s not business; it’s strictly personal.

Avila had a strange minor injury last April while playing for Arizona. Up big in a blowout game, Avila hit a long fly and ran hard like you’re always supposed to; once the ball went yard, he slowed down like you’re supposed to and strained a muscle in slowing.

On the mound? None other than our old friend Eduardo Núñez. It was a blowout game, remember. No word as to if Núñez lost his hat on the pitch.

Today's Lineups

Victor Reyes - CF Jorge Polanco - SS
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Josh Donaldson - 3B
Miguel Cabrera - DH Nelson Cruz - DH
Jeimer Candelario - 1B Miguel Sano - 1B
Willi Castro - SS Marwin Gonzalez - RF
Christin Stewart - LF Ehire Adrianza - 2B
Travis Demeritte - RF Brent Rooker - LF
Austin Romine - C Jake Cave - CF
Isaac Paredes - 3B Ryan Jeffers - C
Matthew Boyd - LHP Randy Dobnak - RHP

This day is poop if I don’t get me some La Tortuga in the nightcap. (Really, the later-afternooncap.)